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Month in review

Reviews:
An Acquaintance with Darkness by Ann Rinaldi
Animal Kisses by Barney Saltzberg
The Bunnies' Counting Book by Elizabeth B. Rogers
California Girl by T. Jefferson Parker
Daddy and Me by Neil Ricklen
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems
Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late by Mo Willems
Encyclopedia Brown Finds the Clues by Donald Sobol
Encyclopedia Brown Keeps the Peace by Donald Sobol
Encyclopedia Brown Strikes Again by Donald Sobol
The Gashlycrumb Tinies by Edward Gorey
The Little Green Caterpillar by Yvonne Hooker
Little Lost Puppy by Margaret Glover Otto
Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare
Mouse Tales by Arnold Lobel
My Little Opposites Book by Bob Staake
Number 9 by Wallace Wadsworth
On the Night of the Seventh Moon by Victoria Holt
Picture Me Colors by Deborah D'Andrea and Kaycee Hoffman
Picture Me Numbers by Deborah D'Andrea and Kaycee Hoffman
The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog by Mo Willems
Pokémon 2000 by Tracey West
Russell and the Lost Treasure by Rob Scotton
Russell the Sheep by Rob Scotton
Slide 'N' Seek Shapes by Chuck Murphy
The Spider King by Lawrence Schoonover
The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin
The Straw Men by Michael Marshall
The Tokaido Road by Lucia St Clair Robson
The Top of the World by Ethel M. Dell
Watch Me Grow Kitten by DK Books

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2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

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California Girl: 12/06/06

California Girl

California Girl is a period piece wrapped in a detective novel. It takes place in Orange County (Tustin and Laguna) starting the late 1950s and ending at the close of the century. The bulk of the story is in the 1960s at a time when Orange county was losing its orange groves, America was at war in Viet Nam, LSD and marijuana were drugs of choice and baby boomers were practicing free love.

Some reviewers on Amazon have complained that the book has too many white characters and the Civil Rights movement is never mentioned. In Parker's defense that area was predominantly white and was until recently. That the characters never discuss the Civil Rights movement is in keeping with the character of the area.

Another comment I saw on Amazon was the repeated mentioning of modern forensic tools. I didn't mind them because they drew attention to just how difficult solving a crime can be and to the possibility that the wrong person can be convicted on inconclusive evidence. The story was more interesting that the typical who-done-it where the evidence lines up like a perfect trail to the criminal.

There is just one problem with the story; the identity of the actual criminal. The person behind the murder of Janelle Vonn is the most obvious person. Although with the recent scandals among various Republican lawmakers, I had to chuckle at life almost imitating art.

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