Johnny Horton sang about it

Formula of Deception by Carrie Stuart Parks; 2018; $15.99; 303 pages; Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN; 978-0-71808385-4; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Midland; 9/3/0/18-10/3/18

Why did I this?  Somewhere I read a good review of this.

Murphy has moved to Kodiak, Alaska seeking clues to the murder of her twin sister.  She finds several clues and also discovers that her sister’s killer has escaped from prison in Alaska.  Murphy manages to get a job as a forensic artist with a local department through a little bit of deception and some lies of omission.  She gets involved with a cold case that leads to some of the most important members of the community.  As she investigates more and more, the bodies start to pile up.  As the story climaxes a twist comes out of absolutely nowhere, there are no clues that I saw coming that leads to this reveal. I rated it an 8 of 10 because to me it seemed that the author didn’t know how to end the story and made an inexplicable conclusion.


What is with the title of the review? Johnny Horton sang a great song, North to Alaska, which is where this story takes place.



what you don’t know will hurt you.

Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott; 2018; $27.00; 342 pages; Little, Brown and Company, New York, NY; 978-0-316-54718-5; checked out from Multnomah County Library; Library Outreach Services; 7/17/18-7/21/18

Why did I read this?  Because several authors that I like recommended the book.

Two young cross country bond at a running camp and then one transfers to the others high school.  They become best friends and competitors for a science scholarship.  One tells the other a secret that puts a kink into the relationship.  Many years later after they have graduated high school, college and become scientists they work together at a research facility.  Their relationship is strained due to the secret, however later things happen that forces them together.  They find another secret about their employee that stresses out the relationship.


serial killers & civil war reenactments

Hour Game by David Baldacci; 2004; Kindle Edition; Grand Central Publishing, New York, NY; 9780446586658; purchased from; 2/19/18-2/20/18

Why did I read this?  Because I am reading through all of David Baldacci’s series and I had a long plane ride from Portland to Anchorage.

Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are hired to solve some burglaries but that gets them involved in a case where a killer is mimicking notorious serial killers of the recent past.  One of the characters is a member of a civil war reenactment society and gets Michelle involved.  This mystery takes a lot of twist and turns and we discover more of Sean and Michelle’s backstories.  They characters are the most engaging parts of Baldacci’s books.

Grade 10/10

Ollie is awesome

Crooked River by Valerie Geary; 2014; $25.99; 326 pages; William Morrow, New York, NY; 978-0-06-232659-1; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Northwest; 2/11/-18-2/15/18

Why did I read this?  Valerie just began as a volunteer at the Title Wave so I thought I would read her work.

The mother of Ollie and Samantha McAllister has passed away and they move to the country with their father, who lives in a tipi on the land of a family friend.  One day they discover a body in the Crooked River, instead of alerting the police they allow the body to float downstream.  They find clues but instead of telling the police they try and solve the case themselves.  When their father is charged with the murder things start to quickly go downhill.  Each of the girls is different, Sam in very pragmatic while Ollie sees spirits around them.  This is a mystery of many different levels and wonderfully told story which alternates between the viewpoints of the two girls.

What is with the title of the review?  Ollie is a reader who sees spirits around her.  Someone I can relate to.

Grade- 10

The Western Star by Craig Johnson

The Western Star by Craig Johnson; 2017; $28.00; 295 pages; Viking, New York, NY; 978-0525-42695-0; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Hollywood; 12/6/17-12/11/17

Why did I read this?  I read a review and several people I know have recommended the series.

This book serves as the most current events in the series and an introduction to the series at the same time.  Walt Longmire is sheriff revisting one of his old cases as the story begins, the case is one from the very beginning of his career and his  relationship with his mentor and the other sheriffs of the state.  It involves a serial killer and many levels of deception from friends and enemies and even frenemies.  I am looking forward to reading more from Craig Johnson.

Grade A