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I think some of you may know of my previous lurrrrve for this series, but if you don’t than I reviewed Death By Bikini in May. If you haven’t read the first book yet, than that might give you some background.
Aphra is back and she is still awesome, still funny, and still getting into trouble. Determined to find her elusive mother, Natalie, she hops a plane to Seattle without permission. But when she discovers her mother she also realizes her timing couldn’t be worse. Something big is up and Natalie and her secretive fellow agents can hardly wait to get Aphra away from the trouble. But when Agent Watts appears out of nowhere and Seth Mulo steps rather rapidly… and urgently… back into her life, things get more complicated. And when one of Natalie’s close friends and partners is poisoned through basic morning routine, leaving only a garbled cryptic message in his wake, there is no turning back.
As I said before, I really really like the first book in this series. The SASS books of Linda Gerber are also really fun and quick reads. But I couldn’t help but feel that Death By Latte was just a tad bit too quick. Some events seemed kind of crushed together to make space for a large, fabulously dramatic scene. Nyah. All the same, I LOVE Aphra. She’s easy to relate to and consistently witty, although not to the point of being irritating. Also, there is Seth. Oh Seth. He is so difficult to read (haha..bad pun…) which makes him a more engaging beautiful boy character than in alot of books. Veddy nice. The dialogue makes me jealous. I can’t write dialogue to save my life, but Linda Gerber rattles out hilarious and taut conversations in turn, like it’s nothing.
Like it’s predecessor, Death By Latte is a great beach or AGH-I-must-finish-this-paper-but-must-read-something-in-between-so-that-my-head-doesn’t-explode-with-unnecessary-knowledge read (NOT like I’ve ever been there) and reminds me why I loved mystery books growing up. 6 out of 7 Poisoned Cups of Orange Mocha Frappucino (time for another round of naaaamee thaaaaat reference!!!)!
Does anyone have any good mystery novels to recommend for a lonely and Nancy-Drewless reader?
Waiting impatiently for Death by TK,
Eoin Colfer is made of awesome. He is one of those authors whose work you never have to doubt. When I see one of his books with its shiny new cover begging me to pick it up and turn its lovely pages, I never think, “Oh, I hope this won’t be one of those books that looks fantastic and is just… not.” Which makes me happy because books with shiny covers disappoint me all too often. *sighs and rambles for a while about how books with awesome covers should, in themselves, be awesome*
But getting back to Airman. Our hero, Conor Broekhart, has been (literally) flying since birth. He was born on a hot air balloon, and has been obsessed with aircrafts of all sorts since. He is a resourceful and clever youngling (as shown when he rescues Princess Isabella from the king’s tower… which they may have set ablaze in the first place…) and is assigned a tutor, Victor, under whom he learns about aircraft, fencing, and other studies necessary to an illustrious youth. Okay, maybe not necessary but certainly helpful.
However, Conor’s world falls apart when he witnesses the assassination of King Nicholas, by the devious scoundrel, Bonvilain. Victor and Conor are blamed for the king’s death. Victor is shot by Bonvilain and Conor is sent to Little Saltee, the island prison. Now, Conor has to learn to survive the daily beatings, poor conditions, lack of air and sunlight, etc. Oh, and he needs to find a way to escape, too. What kind of story would it be if our protagonist rotted away in a cold, dank cell? How is he going to escape? Well, maybe, just maybe, looking at the title of the novel would give you a hint ;).
Eoin Colfer never disappoints. His characters were solid and the adventure was exciting. The two year time skip was a necessary evil (I mean, who wants to hear about two years in prison?) and very appropriately placed. I actually liked this book better than the newest Artemis Fowl, to tell you the truth. 6 out of 7 balloons full of fireworks for this one [insert explode-y noises and such here].
Now, I have been told (by many people) that Maureen Johnson is a fabulous author and threatened (by one person in particular) with heavy exposure to Swedish techno if I did not read at least one of her books. Swedish techno is actually fun to listen to… in small doses. More than that might melt your brain. Seeing as I like my brain in its non-puddinglike state, I snagged the nearest one, which happened to be (as you can probably guess from the title of this post) Suite Scarlett.
Scarlett Martin’s family owns and lives in a hotel. The Hopewell has fallen on hard times and while it may not have a plethora of Egyptian cotton towels or toilets that function 100% of the time, it has what is called “the personal touch”. Meaning, that the Martins can no longer afford to hire staff and the only people around who will work for free are Scarlett and her siblings. Following family tradition, Scarlett is given the key to the Empire Suite and the responsibility of its upkeep. Due to the family’s financial troubles, Scarlett has to drop her plans of getting a summer job in favor of working at the hotel… but her plans are saved in an entirely unexpected way by Mrs. Amberson, a former actress turned writer/director/agent, who moves into the Empire Suite and offers Scarlett the chance to be her assistant. As this position pays $500 a week, she snaps up the opportunity and quickly gets to work.
This mainly consists of fetching exotic delicacies and helping Mrs. Amberson write her novel…. uuuntil Scarlett’s brother Spencer gets involved in a local “Broadway” production. The cast is evicted from the parking garage where they’ve been practicing and where do they choose to stage the rehearsals? The basement of the Hopewell, of course. Things quickly pick up and between Mrs. Amberson’s meddling in the production of the play, and Scarlett’s maybe-boyfriend-maybe-not (who also happens to be Spencer’s friend and in the cast of the play) events around the hotel quickly get tangled. And once everything starts to fall down around their ears, Scarlett has to take charge and show that she’s good for more than delivering organic Japanese plums.
I found Suite Scarlett to be a fun and funny book. It was cute and I loved the interaction between the family members. They seemed very real and atypical and interesting. Very different than what I had thought a book about a hotel would be like… much more entertaining. And if you happened to be looking for a book to take to the beach I’d recommend this one. Not that I read it at the beach, but it seems like that’d be a good place to do so. 6 out of 7 … wailing mermaids?… that sounds good, let’s go with that.