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Month in review

Reviews
Ammie, Come Home by Barbara Michaels
Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel
The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart by Mathias Malzieu
Calling Dr. Laura: A Graphic Memoir by Nicole J. Georges
Charlie and Lola: My Best, Best Friend by Lauren Child and Carol Noble
Day of Doom by David Baldacci
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce
Finch's Fortune by Mazo de la Roche
Five, Six, Seven, Nate! by Tim Federle
The Ghost Prison by Joseph Delaney
Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns by Hena Khan
Grandma's Gift by Eric Velasquez
Greenglass House by Kate Milford
Happy Families by Tanita S. Davis
Here She Is, Ms Teeny-Wonderful by Martyn Godfrey
Hey! Who Stole the Toilet? by Nancy E. Krulik
How to Be a Cat by Nikki McClure
I Was Told There'd Be Cake by Sloane Crosley
Julia's House for Lost Creatures by Ben Hatke
Line 135 by Germano Zullo
Mr. and Mrs. Bunny — Detectives Extraordinaire! by Polly Horvath
Night Soldiers by Alan Furst
Regards to the Man in the Moon by Ezra Jack Keats
Scribble by Deborah Freedman
Ten Rules You Absolutely Must Not Break if You Want to Survive the School Bus by John Grandits
Then Came You by Jennifer Weiner
To This Day: For the Bullied and Beautiful by Shane Koyczan
Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats
Your Food Is Fooling You by David A. Kessler
Zak's Lunch by Margie Palatini
Zen Attitude by Sujata Massey

Miscellaneous
Not Every Book Gets a Review
One star ratings are short hand for DNF

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Ammie, Come Home: 05/25/15

cover art

Ammie, Come Home by Barbara Michaels is the first of the Georgetown gothic mysteries by Barbara Michaels. I read it after reading the last in the series, Stitches in Time first (not realizing it was part of a trilogy).

It's the close of the 1960s and Ruth, a 40s something widow is having her niece, Sara, over to stay. Things begin to go awry when she is dropped off by her college professor — a man clearly going through a midlife crises — as seen through his choice of dress and his cute little sports car.

Sara begins having trouble sleeping, thinking she's hearing a neighbor call for a missing bet named Sammie. But soon it's apparent that it can't be a missing pet. It has to be something more sinister. Perhaps the house is haunted? Or maybe it's all one big prank?

The haunting is an excuse to drag out gender roles and gender politics — hot topics for Barbara Michaels / Elizabeth Peters early works. Although she does still include explorations of gender roles, she was tempered them and hidden them better in her plots. The Georgetown trilogy seems the most rife with gender politics of any of her books or series and the politics get in the way of an otherwise interesting (albeit formulaic) haunted house story.

As I was reading it, I had a nagging sense of deja vu, and not just from having read the last book in the series. I attributed the feeling to the fact I was also reading The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong as the ghosts Chloë keeps encountering seem to be hiding in all the same places as the ones in Ruth's home.

But no, the post on the Gothic Romance Forum snapped it all into place for me. There was an ABC made for TV movie in 1970. I'm sure I watched it in reruns on my grandmother's cable. I went through a phase where I watched every single horror film I could find on cable (as this was before video rental stores or streaming media).

Three stars

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