When a Child is Born by Jodi Taylor (Short Story)

Posted by on Aug 15, 2017 in 3 stars, Book Review, Jodi Taylor, Short Stories | 0 comments

When a Child is Born by Jodi TaylorWhen a Child is Born by Jodi Taylor

Genre: Science Fiction, Short Story
Format: Ebook
Series: The Chronicles of St Mary’s #2.5
Publisher: Accent Press
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 19
Source: Purchased

The Book:
From the publisher:

It’s Christmas Day 1066 and a team from St Mary’s is going to witness the coronation of William the Conqueror. Or so they think. However, History seems to have different plans for them and when Max finds herself delivering a child in a peasant’s hut, she can’t help wondering what History is up to.

My Thoughts:
The people at St. Mary’s Institute of Historical Research don’t call it time travel. They “investigate major historical events in contemporary time”.

It’s time travel

The Chronicles of St. Mary’s is a fun series. The author typically releases a short story between books. This one came between books two and three of the series It’s about a mission that goes wrong. Although they are not supposed to change History, sometimes History changes their plans.

It’s extremely short (just 19 pages) but I enjoyed the way it played out.

If you have any interest in this series I strongly recommend that you start with Just One Damned Thing After Another.

3 stars Rating 3/5

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The Very First Damned Thing by Jodi Taylor (Short Story)

Posted by on Apr 4, 2017 in 2017, 3 stars, Jodi Taylor, Short Stories | 0 comments

The Very First Damned Thing by Jodi Taylor
The Very First Damned Thing by Jodi Taylor

Genre: Science Fiction, Short Story
Format: Ebook
Series: The Chronicles of St Mary’s #0.5
Publisher: Accent Press
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 61
Source: Purchased

The Book:
From the publisher:

Ever wondered how it all began?
It’s two years since the final victory at the Battersea Barricades. The fighting might be finished, but for Dr Bairstow, just now setting up St Mary’s, the struggle is only beginning.
How will he assemble his team? From where will his funding come? How can he overcome the massed ranks of the Society for the Protection of Historical Buildings?
How do stolen furniture, a practical demonstration at the Stirrup Charge at Waterloo, students’ alcohol-ridden urine, a widowed urban guerrilla, a young man wearing exciting knitwear, and four naked security guards all combine to become the St Mary’s of the future?

My Thoughts:
The Chronicles of St. Mary’s is a fun series about time traveling historians who “investigate major historical events in contemporary time” The first book in the series (Just One Damned Thing After Another) was quite enjoyable. It had been a while since I’d read it and I wanted to continue with the series. I discovered that among the short stories related to this series was this one which is listed as a prequel.

Technically it’s a prequel but I would not recommend it as a starting point in the series. Much of it doesn’t make a lot of sense without the context of at least one (if not more) books in the series.

It was fun and I’m glad I read it but if you have any interest in this series I strongly recommend that you start with Just One Damned Thing After Another.

3 stars Rating 3/5

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Nutshell Review: Messenger by Craig Johnson

Posted by on Aug 21, 2015 in 2015, 4 stars, Book Review, Craig Johnson, Short Stories | 0 comments

Messenger, A Walt Longmire Story by Craig Johnson

Messenger by Craig Johnson

Genre: Short Story
Format: eBook
Series: A short story that fits in the Walt Longmire series timeline after As the Crow Flies (#8)
Publisher: Viking
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 58
Source: Purchased

The Book:

This is a short story that takes place after the events of As the Crow Flies (Walt Longmire #8).
From the publisher:

Sheriff Walt Longmire, his long-time friend Henry Standing Bear, and his undersheriff Victoria Moretti are returning from a fishing trip in the Bighorn Mountains when Walt receives a distress call from Crazy Woman Canyon. Forest service ranger Chuck Coon is in trouble. Walt, the Bear, and Vic arrive to find Coon and a young woman up a tree, so to speak. The unlikely duo are fending off three very real bears from the top of a Porta Potty and tell a mystifying story of another dangerous creature inside the “convenience.” When Walt, Henry, and Vic face the creature what they find may be a Messenger from the Camp of the Dead, with a very personal tie to Walt himself.

My Thoughts:
I really enjoy Craig Johnson’s short stories that go along with his Walt Longmire series. They aren’t necessary for readers who are purists and only read the full novels but they sure are a lot of fun.

This one isn’t a mystery and actually has a lot of humor in it. This is surprising since the majority of the story takes place in a porta-potty. I really enjoy the banter between Walt and his best friend Henry. Vic Moretti is one of the funniest foul mouthed female characters I’ve come to know and I like her more and more with every book and story she’s in.

If you like the Walt Longmire series by Craig Johnson I highly recommend any and all of the related short stories he’s written. They really add a lot to the stories of all of the regular characters.

4 stars Rating 4/5

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Meet Mr. Mulliner by P.G. Wodehouse

Posted by on Oct 31, 2014 in 2014, 3 stars, Book Review, PG Wodehouse, Short Stories | 0 comments

Meet Mr. Mulliner by P.G. Wodehouse

Meet Mr. Mulliner by P.G. Wodehouse

Genre: Humor, Short Stories
Publisher: H. Jenkins
Publication Date: Originally published 1927
Pages: 140
Source: Purchased

The Short Version:
A collection of nine lightly humorous stories.

Why I Read It:
I’ve read a couple of Wodehouse’s Jeeves and Wooster books but I wanted to read some of his other work.

The Book:
From the back cover of the Overlook Press edition:

A stalwart of ‘The Angler’s Rest’, where he is usually to be found in company with Miss Postlethwaite the barmaid, Mr Mulliner has an endless supply of brothers, nephews and cousins who feature in the tales with which he entertains the regulars in his favourite pub. There is George, the stammerer, who finds the courage to propose only after being chased by a mob; Wilfred, the chemist, who muddles his cosmetic potions with dire results; Lancelot, the film star; William, the lover of Myrtle Banks; Clarence, the society photographer; and Augustine, the curate, who saves his bishop from disgrace at the school reunion. All win through to love and success, but only after enough farcical mishaps to supply a dozen ordinary comic novelists.

My Thoughts:
Any visit to the Angler’s Rest pub will likely end up with the conversation reminding pub regular Mr. Mulliner of a story involving a member of his extended family. Mr. Mulliner is irrepressible and can quickly take any topic of conversation off on a tangent to one of his stories.

As with most of Wodehouse’s work these stories were originally written for publication in magazines and later collected into collected editions. Meet Mr. Mulliner contains 9 stories. Some of the Mulliner relatives show up in multiple stories but all the stories are independent of each other.

The reason I like Wodehouse is that the stories are light and amusing in a way that will more likely provoke a smirk than a real laugh. I like having one of his books around whether in print or digital edition so that I can read one of the stories in between other longer books. They’re nice palate cleansing stuff.

3 stars Rating 3/5

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The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Posted by on Nov 19, 2013 in 2013, 4 stars, Book Review, Short Stories, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle | 3 comments

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Genre: Mystery / Short Stories
Series: #3 in the traditional canon of Sherlock Holmes
Publisher: The Floating Press
Publication Date: 1891-1892 (this edition 2009)
Pages: 243
Source: Purchased

The Short Version:
A collection of 12 short stories featuring Sherlock Holmes as told by his friend Dr. Watson.

Why I Read It:
I started reading the Sherlock Holmes stories and books a couple of years ago and really enjoyed them. I bought this one then and wanted to read it but for a gazillion reasons kept reading something else first. Thanks to the Sherlock Holmes Reading Challenge I had an excuse to put it at the top of the To Be Read list.

The Book:
from the Google ebook edition:

Presenting 12 tales starring the legendary British detective Sherlock Holmes, this 1892 book is Arthur Conan Doyle’s first short-story collection. The mystery compilation includes some of Holmes’s finest cases with his dutiful sidekick, Doctor Watson, most notably “A Scandal in Bohemia,” in which Holmes matches wits with the crafty former lover of a European king. Also featured is “The Adventure of the Red-Headed League,” a study in misdirection that unfolds to become a much larger scheme. The stories, initially published in the Strand Magazine, are essential reading for Holmes fans.

My Thoughts:
I knew this would happen. Once I ventured back into the world of Sherlock Holmes I could kick myself for not reading this sooner. This collection of short stories is simply fun.

I enjoy the asides and observations of Watson as much as I enjoy the mysteries themselves. But I forgot how often Holmes can make me chuckle.

“What are you going to do, then?” I asked.

“To smoke,” he answered.” It is quite a three pipe problem, and I beg that you won’t speak to me for fifty minutes.”

“Then put on your hat and come. I am going through the City first, and we can have some lunch on the way. I observe that there is a good deal of German music on the programme, which in rather more to my taste than Italian or French. It is introspective, and I want to introspect. Come along!”

“This looks like one of those unwelcome social summonses which call upon a man either to be bored or to lie.”

This collection of stories was originally published in The Strand magazine over a year long period in 1891-1892. They jump around a bit in time and don’t take place chronologically although there are occasional references in the stories to other cases in the collection.

Some are a bit predictable and others took me by surprise. They were all fun and interesting reads. I will definitely not be waiting so long to dive into the next collection of stories – The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes.

4 stars Rating 4/5

The Sherlock Holmes Reading Challenge
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Christmas in Absaroka County by Craig Johnson

Posted by on Jan 8, 2013 in 2013, 4 stars, Book Review, Craig Johnson, Short Stories | 0 comments

Christmas in Absaroka County by Craig Johnson

Christmas in Absaroka County, Walt Longmire Christmas Stories

Genre: Short Stories
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 80
Source: Purchased

The Short Version:
This is an ebook collection of four Christmas themed short stories featuring Walt Longmire from Craig Johnson’s ongoing series.

Why I Read It:
After listening to the first two Walt Longmire books I couldn’t resist this special ebook to read during my holiday vacation time

The Book:
From the publisher:

Full of Longmire’s dry wit and good heart, Christmas in Absaroka County is a holiday must-have for every Longmire and Craig Johnson fan, and it also includes the first chapter of The Cold Dish, the first novel in the Walt Longmire Mystery Series.

My Thoughts:
If you’ve read any of the Walt Longmire series, this is something to put on your radar for a quick holiday read next year. If you haven’t read any of the series, go ahead and pick this up now, read the first chapter of The Cold Dish as an introduction and then you’ll have between now and Christmas to read a few more of the series before reading these short stories.

Ministerial Aid – it’s New Year’s morning in the year 2000 and Walt is out in a remote part of the county nursing a hangover when he crosses paths with a woman who needs his gentleness and assistance

Slick-Tongued Devil – finds Walt thrown for a loop by the oddly timed re-appearance of his wife’s obituary in the local paper. As he retreats to his cabin to deal with reignited grief he has an unexpected visitor who will learn a surprising lesson.

Toys for Tots – When his daughter drags him to the mall for some last minute Christmas shopping Walt ends up helping an injured Marine Chaplain have a holiday to remember.

Unbalanced – On his way to Montana to pick up his daughter for a Christmas visit, Walt picks up a young female hitchhiker in a storm. They both learn some things about themselves along the way.

If you haven’t read any of the Walt Longmire series and want to read a bit along with some well done holiday themed short stories this one is worth getting your hands on. It’s short enough that even without an ereader you can easily read it on your computer with a variety of reading applications.

4 stars Rating 4/5

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