Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mystery Annotation - One for the Money

One for the Money

by Janet Evanovich

Stephanie Plum is out of work and hocking her furniture when she takes a job working for her questionable cousin Vinnie. As a green bounty hunter, Plum has her work cut out for her. Her first apprehension goal is an accused cop on the run –Joe Morelli and he just happens to be a romantic blast from her past, but that’s not deterring Plum. As Plum starts poking her nose in to the Morelli case she realizes she may have bitten off more than she could chew. When she’s saved from the misogynist boxer Ramirez by her target, Morelli, the seeds of a strange companionship are sewn. Walking the fine line between friend and enemy Stephanie and Morelli work to solve his case, clear Morelli’s name and most importantly, get Plum her $10,000 apprehension check.

Appeal Terms:

  • · Mystery
  • · Female Detective
  • · Humorous
  • · Witty
  • · Fast Paced

Read Alikes:

Wollie Shelley Series by Harley Kozak – Book One: Dating Dead Men

Zephyr Zuckerman Series by Daphne Uviller – Book One: Super in the City

Kinsey Millhone Series by Sue Grafton – Book One: A is for Alibi

Jane Kelly Series by Nancy Bush– Book One: Candy Apple Red

Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles series by Tess Gerritsen– Book One: The Surgeon

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Kirkus Style Review - Angela's Ashes

McCourt, a retired NYC school teacher finally wins the lottery with his humorous and gritty memoir, Angela’s Ashes. Like any good story teller, McCourt draws the reader in with a tale a woe: a alcoholic father, a jobless mother, too many babies to feed and hardly any social services in sight. Growing up first in New York and then in the slums of Ireland McCourt fights to feed his family, get an education and have a little boyhood fun. Faced with the wrath of his mother and the Catholic priests McCourt finds his way in and out of sticky situations. With an almost completely absent father the young McCourt must rely on his Catholic education and the boys on his lane to teach him the finer points of becoming a man. Although McCourt’s goal, to provide for his family, seems simple he’s fighting against “class distinction” – being from the Limerick Lanes. With the unexpected help of his mother’s stingy sister who buys him a new suit -- he’s able to land a job delivering telegrams. On the side he gets employed as the local money lender’s assistant – he uses his linguistic skills to write threatening letters to delinquent accounts – his friends and family. Although the life of an impoverished Irish child is grim McCourt’s excellent storytelling and humor keep readers holding on for the next chapter as young Frankie eventually comes of age and sets sail for America.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Secret Shopper

For my secret shopper assignment I went to Columbus' downtown library, the Bartholomew County Library. I go to this library from time to time, but my typical library mode is self-service. I know how to use the OPAC and other tools so typically I don't ask for help.

It was about 6pm and I meandered up to the desk where there were a couple of staff members. On the main floor there are four desk areas (Circulation, Reference, CD/DVDs and Computers). I skipped the circulation desk, no one was at the reference desk so I went to the computers area. It is very much in the middle of things anyways. It seemed like a good place to ask. There were two staff members at the desk and one other person waiting on help. As soon as they knew I wasn't there to sign up to use a computer the reference librarian (I am pretty sure that would be her title) invited me over to the reference desk since it was a "book question."

A the reference desk she asked what book I was looking for. I told her I didn't know, just a "a good one." She didn't hesitate and asked me what types of books I liked to read (one point, RL). I gave her a vague, but basically true answer -- "I like a variety of types of books, but I'm looking for something light hearted." She escorted me over to a display area for papers/documents. I've never actually noticed this area before... (another point, RL).

At the display she showed me several author list organized (and somewhat color coded) by genre. Romance was pink, Vampires were red... and there was also a list for Fantasy, which she said included some Science Fiction and a Cozy Mysteries list. She explained that Cozy Mysteries were less violent than other types of mysteries. She said a popular author from that list was Janet Evanovich.

Next, I told her I had heard of that author. I was agreeable to this suggestion and she showed me where the Evanovich books were and commented on how these books were organized by author's last name. She did warn me that sometimes Evanovich had some "adult" language in her books -- in case I might be sensitive to that (score again, RL).

She also mentioned that Sue Grafton had a similar style of books and she pointed out some "classic mysteries" but I was fine with the Evanovich. She gave me a little information on Ms. Plumb's life -- that her family and friends showed up again and again in her novels but the "mystery" part was pretty much enclosed with in one book. This came up because I expressed concern over picking a book that started in the middle of a series and not understanding what was going on.

After my reader's advisory sneak attack I asked another series of telling questions that I really did need the answers to! I was looking for legal papers to help a friend of mine out. The same RL was very helpful and showed me the screen while she pulled up the library's homepage, the Cengage- Learning database and options with in the legal papers.

My only beef with the experience was that this sweet older RL has a quiet voice. If she was turned away from me, I had a hard time hearing her. She was however, very helpful and she seemed very comfortable answering my RA questions.

Overall, props to BCPL!