All posts by ntbadmin

Biscotti Bodies

Covid-19 Page 70

3 Bodies and a Biscotti
(Lexy Baker #4)
by Leighann Dobbs (2013)

There’s a serial killer on the loose. And Lexy Baker’s grandmother, Nans, could be the next victim.

The bodies are piling up at the Brook Ridge Falls Retirement Center. Healthy people are dropping like flies. And yet no one believes a murderer is on the loose… except for Lexy Baker and the troupe of iPad-toting grandmothers who live at the center.

After four episodes, the series is getting shorter and less inventive. This is the end of the box set I got as part of a bundle. So although the series continues, here I will leave Lexie to her baking.


Marzipan Murder

Covid-19 Page 69

Murder, Money & Marzipan
(Lexy Baker #3)
by Leighann Dobbs (2012)


When Lexy Baker makes it to the finale of America’s most prestigious bakery contest, Bakery Battles, she thinks her biggest dream has finally come true. Until she stumbles across the frozen body of judge Amanda Scott-Saunders.

I’m starting to see a pattern. Lexie stumbles on a body and gets accused of the murder. Then through a series of coincidences and luck, along with help from Nana solves the murder.

It should be slight and boring. But somehow this author makes the formula work. It’s always in a light tone and the plot is always moving forward.




Thrawn Treason

Covid-19 Day 68

Thrawn: Treason
(Star Wars: Thrawn #3)
by Timothy Zahn (2019)


Thrawn’s pet project is halted because of a bet over pests chewing on ships and causing havoc.

An Zahn chews in this plot with a lot of weird names, political in fighting and not a lot more.

I barely made it through the last in the series, but this one sucks all the life of of any sense of scale or adventure in the Star Wars universe.


Danish Death

Covid-19 Day 67

Dying for Danish
(Lexy Baker #2)
by Leighann Dobbs (2012)

When Lexy Baker lands a high paying catering job that allows her to buy some much needed kitchen equipment, she’s excited that things are going so well … until she stumbles over the body of the bride-to-be.

Death goes quickly. The first in the series was read five years ago !
Again its a short (30K) Novella with an up-beat main character and a very safe plot (apart from the reading). Fun little ‘cozy’ mystery crime.


Solar Future

Covid-19 Day 66

The Solar Invasion
(Captain Future #20}
by Manly Wade Wellman (1946)

It comes from beyond the fifth dimension–an alien intelligence both invulnerable and totally evil. Its aim: bring the universe to its knees. Its primary objective: destroy the Solar System. As doomsday rushes ever closer, one lone man dares oppose the creature from beyond. Only he can save the universe from a brutal, blazing cataclysm.

Another author takes on Edmond Hamilton’s Hero. Just one story, and that’s a good thing. It has all the breathless excitement of the others, but just isn’t as good.

The moon is stolen. That’s right, just taken. Never mind the tides, it’s disappeared into dimension X. An that about sums up the amount of scientific thought that has gone into this story. There is a lot of science hand waving and avoidance. And at the end there is a big incomprehensible space battle. Fortunately it’s short at 40k words.


1L Bridge

Covid-19 Day 65

TV Series: One Lane Bridge

During a murder investigation at Queenstown’s infamous One Lane Bridge, ambitious young Maori Detective, Ariki Davis, inadvertently reawakens a spiritual gift that endangers the case, his career and his life.

It’s a Kiwi murder mystery set in one of New Zealand’s most scenic regions. Cue long shot of mountains, fast flowing rivers and men walking across the landscape with intent.

It starts OK,  dead, a body under bridge. Who, when and why. Only Police Officer Stephen Tremaine (Joel Tobeck) can figure this out. Then young Auckland detective, Ariki Davis (Ona-Ariki) turns up. And he seems to have some extra sensory skills. He keeps seeing things. Will this lead to the killer, will there be weird stuf giong down.

Sadly, no. It all ends with a hilltop confession by the killer. And in the end it all boils down to that old human vice: Sex.

Jared Turner, Dean O’Gorman, Peter McCauley, Sara Wiseman

Capt Underpants

Covid-19 Day 64

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is a 2017 American computer-animated superhero comedy film based on Dav Pilkey’s children’s novel series of the same name.

It was directed by David Soren from a screenplay by Nicholas Stoller, and stars the voices of Kevin Hart, Ed Helms, Thomas Middleditch and Nick Kroll.

The plot follows two imaginative elementary school pranksters named George Beard and Harold Hutchins who hypnotize their cold-hearted principal, Mr. Krupp, into thinking he is Captain Underpants, a superhero who fights crime while wearing only underwear and a cape, thinking he has superpowers.

Clearly aimed at kids with a frenetic onslaught of jokes, attitude and quick changes. But beneath all that there is a good story that hangs together and great voice work.

It’s smart, fun and full of laughts.


Soldier’s Reason

Covid-19 Day 63

A Soldier’s Duty
(Theirs Not to Reason Why #1)
by Jean Johnson (2001)

Ia is a precog, tormented by visions of the future where her home galaxy has been devastated. To prevent this vision from coming true, Ia enlists in the Terran United Planets military with a plan to become a soldier who will inspire generations for the next three hundred years-a soldier history will call Bloody Mary.

First up; Ia is just a bad character name. I know it’s a good idea to keep main characters names short. But this is ridiculous.

Second, it’s well written. The prose flows easily and serves the story well. For the first third of the book out come all the cliches of Military training. It’s not bad, just predictable.

Then come the problems. I thought that the stereotype drill Sargent bad-ass was absent as I know they cannot be effective. But he does something amazingly stupid at the end of training.

Then, for some inexplicable reason some sort of energy being was introduced. It was not clear why, made no sense and was confusing.

And at the end of training it became clear that Ia was to be an impossible to kill super soldier. Which becomes boring. So I stopped.