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Acting Class: Take a Seat by Milton Katselas
All in Fun by Jerry Oltion
The Cat Who Went Up the Creek by Lilian Jackson Braun
The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans
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Diary of a Dead Man by Walter Krumm
Earth Odyssey by Mark Hertsgaard
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Ella: A Baby Elephant's Story by Kathleen Duey
Emily Waits for Her Family by Carol Zelaya
The Exchange by Inga C. Ellzey
Festival of Deaths by Jane Haddam
For the Love of St. Nick by Garasamo Maccagnone
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A Garden from a Hundred Packets of Seed by James Fenton
The Illusion by Tony Kushner and Pierre Corneille
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The Little Lame Prince and His Travelling Cloak by Dinah Muloc Craik
Mojo Hand by Greg Kihn
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Rising Waters by Patricia Ferrara
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Silence is Golden by Penny Warner
"Slowly, Slowly, Slowly" Said the Sloth by Eric Carle
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The Temple of the Sun by Moyra Caldecott
Tsunami by Gordon Gumpertz
Written on the Knee by Dr. Theodore Electris and Helen Electrie Lindsay (translator)

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Festival of Deaths: 01/03/09

If you came tonight expecting another installment of Don Quixote, you will have to wait until next Saturday. I've just returned home from a two week trip and I didn't take the book along. It's old and fragile and really not suited for traveling in a cramped car with boisterous children.

Instead of Don Quixote, I give you Festival of Deaths, one of the Gregor Demarkian series of mysteries by Jane Haddam. I read it on the first half of our trip (before the stomach flu). Despite a clear had and the fact that I was reading it during Hanukkah, I still hated the book. No, hated it probably too strong. I didn't get into the book and didn't give a damn about Gregor Demarkian or the people he was trying to help.

Lotte Goldman, a host of a "controversial TV show" has a slight problem. Someone is killing off her staff. Demarkian is there originally as a guest to discuss: "Sex and the Serial Killer" but soon finds himself needed to solve the murders before he becomes a victim himself.

The book could have been fun but it was mired in a slow plot and populated with characters all trying to out stereotype each other. I actually only made it halfway in the book. First there is an incredibly long prologue. It's 63 pages of the 371 page book. There's also a ten page epilogue at the end, meaning that 20% of the book takes place outside of the actual plot. I would much prefer to either have the prologue labeled as the first chapter or have all that back story peppered into the book as tidbits of information than have to slog through 61 pages before I can start the actual book.

Festival of Deaths is one in a long series of mysteries, all themed around different holidays. Obviously the holiday hook was popular enough with a loyal core of readers to warrant so many books. I am just not part of that core. I will give the rest of the books in the series a pass.


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Comment #1: Tuesday, January, 6, 2009 at 19:28:13


I have this book on my TBR pile and haven't found the time in the last two Hanukkah's to read it so there it sits. After reading your review, I'm in no hurry to read it. I have the Passover one too.

Comment #2: Sunday January 10, 2009 at 20:33:31


Oh dear. Sorry about that. Maybe you'll like it more than I did. If not you can always donate to your local library if they have a Friends of the Library book sale.

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