Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Reader's Thumb: The Eleventh Victim

Reader's Thumb: The Eleventh Victim: "By Nancy Grace, The Eleventh Victim is a gripping story that had me up all night! Murder mysteries and Psychological thrillers are my favor..."

The Eleventh Victim

By Nancy Grace, The Eleventh Victim is a gripping story that had me up all night!  Murder mysteries and Psychological thrillers are my favorite reads and this one was a killer.  I was on my way to work and realized I had forgotten the book I was reading at home, Wicked.  I hate it when that happens!  As my job could have serious lulls of over an hour of no business, a good book is the answer to eternal boredom.  I stopped at Target of all places.  Who knew they had books?  I did not, but took a chance.  They do have a book section and I even picked up an Americana at Starbucks on my way out.  

When the initial rush was over at the job, I flipped open the book and was instantly involved.  Serial killer stories have always fascinated me.  I also identify with the main character, Hailey Dean to some degree.  Of course, she is a brilliant lawyer and I am just a brilliant comedienne, so there are some obvious differences, but I could have that.  This story has twists and turns in it that come from out of the blue and all affect the case.  Her killer uses the most unlikely weapon which made me cringe.  She also details the murders in such that you engulf all of the feelings of the victim as well as the murderer. 

What does this say about me?  Why am I fascinated by this type of story?  I am literally gasping with my hand over my mouth and yet, I cannot put it down!  Perhaps it is just non-comprehension.  Abberated people have always confused me and somehow, it is interesting to see how they operate.  It is bizarre and intriguing at the same time.  Perhaps it is just the mystery of them.  I don't know for sure, but I know I like these novels.

The Eleventh Victim, although I enjoyed it profusely and am on my way to the store to buy Nancy's other book, Objection!, left some questions unanswered at the end.  It was a bit unsettling and I am curious to see if there will be a sequel to tie up the loose strings.  I certainly hope so.  This is a great book from a fantastic writer.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Reader's Thumb: Without a Clue...

Reader's Thumb: Without a Clue...: " Usually I read. It's just what I do. However, I am also a movie buff and do enjoy a good film. I am in SAG and therefore often revie..."

Without a Clue...

     Usually I read.  It's just what I do.  However, I am also a movie buff and do enjoy a good film.  I am in SAG and therefore often review movies to vote on them when the Oscars are on the horizon.   Recently, while at work in a little boutique in Los Feliz, a friend, slash customer of mine came in.  We got to chatting about movies and I don't remember how it began.

     I think she asked me how I was doing.  I had a bit of a rough summer for reasons best left un-blogged.  Is that a word?  It is today.  In any case, she inquired about my well being and then recommended I see Eat Pray Love.  She isn't the first person to say I should see that movie and I admit, it was on my agenda.  Of course, I will be more likely to read the book first and then go see the flick if it is still in theatres.  Otherwise, I'll buy it later.   She had heard mixed reviews about the movie, which starts Julia Roberts as a woman who after suffering a terrible loss in love goes abroad to travel.  She has money as she has sold a book.  So some people have been criticizing the film as how did this woman get all that money to travel?  Many people have enjoyed the movie, though. 
     I have not seen it yet, but I will comment that during my own time of tribulation, I recall distinctly thinking of this fabulous movie called, Under the Tuscan Sun.  This one starred Diane Lane, whom I love, and she'd been recently divorced.  She played a writer who was able to leave the marriage with a great deal of money.  This does not mean she was not hurt.  My favorite line from the script is when she says (as I don't remember is exactly, I'll give you the gist of it)  something along the lines of, "It's amazing that it doesn't actually kill you."  (Talking about the pain of the divorce and that her husband had left her for another woman.)  I understand this viewpoint.  When faced with terrible, humiliating loss, it as though it would have been easier to just die.  Instead, you live on in the face of it.  I am not saying it is more right to die, but that is certainly what a person suffering could be contemplating.  In this film, she winds up in a foreign country where she purchases an old home and recreates a life there.  That's all I will say as for those of you who have not seen it, I don't want to spoil it for you.  It is not a recent film, but who knows what my readers have seen?

     As I was saying, during my own upsetting time, I remembered this movie.  I thought, why is it that in the movies, the woman always seems to have money and she can just move to a foreign country and get over it?  In Something's got to Give, she lives in the Hamptons.  Although she is suffering, she has a beautiful beachfront property and plenty of space and money and not to mention, Dr. Reeves to take her mind off of her loss.  Don't misinterpret me, these are two of my favorite films and I own both.  However, in life, that doesn't necessarily happen.  The woman does not have a successful career and tons of money and can't just get on a  plane to Paris and ease the bite of it.  It is more likely that she has to stay in the same environment where the loss occurred and trudge through a job where she is underpaid and over qualified and continue on that path until age and stress consume her or she somehow decides to live and gets on with it.  

     With that tangent in mind, my friend and I got to discussing movies.  I told her about what is positively my favorite comedy of all time.  Rare Birds.  Starring William Hurt, it is truly a gem.  If you have never heard of it, it was probably under promoted and never a blockbuster. If you like very dry humour, you simply must see it.  After mentioning this to my friend, she told me about several others  I should check out, one of which was Clue.  Based on the board game, it stars Tim Curren.  

     As I do take advice from friends sometimes and I was in need of a something to watch and take my attention off of other momentary distractions, I bought Clue on E-bay.  The music in the beginning made me laugh out loud.  It was absolutely ridiculous.  The setting was incredibly like a very bad high-school play.  The characters, oh, dear, were beyond over acting.  Beyond Jim Carrey over acting.  And that is saying something.  I believe it's called "indicating" in Directorial Terms.  The plot, if there actually was one, was never thickening.  Instead, it was spreading out in every direction like a box of dried spaghetti that just flew off the refrigerator in a six point nine earthquake.  There were so many murders in so odd a fashion, it completely suspended my suspension of disbelief.  Even the costumes were horrible.  In fact, I think I am almost annoyed that I watched it.  It was that bad.   It was so bad, that I almost want to watch it again just to prove to myself that it was really that bad.  Kind of like The Rocky Horror Picture Show.  It is so bad, it is almost good.

     I am normally not a critic.  I do admire any art and I so dislike to say bad things about other artist's work.  I pray to the Critique Gods above that I do not get struck by a thunderbolt.  But, it was bloody awful!  Save Howard the Duck and The Crow, which are the only two movies I have ever walked out of, this was the worst movie in the history of movies.  Except for one small thing.  That thing is that when something is honestly that bad, it is almost funny.  I mean, the laugh I got out of just discussing it with a different customer today in the store, whom I mentioned it to, made it worth seeing. We howled.  It was just too amusing.  She sooooo thought it was just as awful as I did.  And of course, I feel terrible for saying it out loud and now worse for actually putting it in writing publicly, but not really.  Well maybe a teensy bit. I seriously do not think it is o.k.  to criticize another's work and if I go back and watch it again, I am sure I will find something good about it to communicate.  Or not.

The good news is that despite the fact that I will not get those two hours back of my life, at least I did not spend them pondering the past and evil thoughts of what not.  I was too busy staring in absolute awe of how incredibly silly this film actually was.

From me to you, dear reader: Unless I have piqued your curiosity to a fever pitch, then trust me,  If you don't have a Clue-Don't get one.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Reader's Thumb: Decaffeinated Corpse

Reader's Thumb: Decaffeinated Corpse: " By Cleo Coyle, National Bestselling Author of Murder Most Frothy, this one is a gem, too! If you are a murder mystery caffeine addict,..."

Decaffeinated Corpse

     By Cleo Coyle, National Bestselling Author of Murder Most Frothy, this one is a gem, too!  If you are a murder mystery caffeine addict, pick up a copy.  This delightful little book has a ton of all the right stuff.  There is the ex, the daughter, the new love interest, the tattooed coffee barista, the exotic friend from a foreign country, and of course, there's the dead body.  

     I discovered these "Coffeehouse Mysteries" when I ran out of "Cat Who" books to read.  Funny how I must go in search of new books.  I'm a coffee drinker.  Mine is high octane espresso or cappuccino with heavy whipping cream where I can get it.  By the way, there is no half and half in all of France.  Just a side note, but I went there earlier this year with visions of sipping cappuccinos at street cafe's and people watching.  One ounce of espresso was nice euros and they only have milk!  I was astonished.  However, you can get what is very close to half and half in the grocery store and carry it with you.  That is exactly what I did.  Call me crazy.  I like my cream in my coffee.  Actually, if coffee is done right, I like it black, but just the fact that I could not have any half and half had me carrying it with me just to spite the place.  Shame on me.  Typical American!

     I enjoy these books as they go into detail about coffee.  Every aspect of coffee comes to light at some point.  There are even coffee recipes in the book for your own use.  You will not only have a great mystery read, but you'll learn that humidity affects the grind and there's a plant somewhere in Africa that may produce naturally decaffeinated beans.  And, and, and!   There's a lot to know about coffee and I find the descriptions fascinating.

     Let me know what you think!