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Month in review

Reviews
Aground on St. Thomas by Rebecca M. Hale
Art & Max by David Wiesner
Ava and Taco Cat by Carol Weston
Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly
Emily and the Strangers Volume 2: Breaking the Record by Rob Reger
Eric by Terry Pratchett
FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics Vol. 1: The Paradigm Shift by Simon Oliver
5 Centimeters per Second by Makoto Shinkai
The Flying Beaver Brothers: Birds vs. Bunnies by Maxwell Eaton III
Gaijin: American Prisoner of War by Matt Faulkner
The Gods of Second Chances by Dan Berne
Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead
Hanging by a Thread by Monica Ferris
Hip Hop Family Tree, Vol. 2: 1981-1983 by Ed Piskor
I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
Julius, the Baby of the World by Kevin Henkes
Monkey Truck by Michael Slack
Moonpenny Island by Tricia Springstubb
Omens by Kelley Armstrong
The Outside Dog by Charlotte Pomerantz
Paper Things by Jennifer Richard Jacobson
A Place to Call Home by Alexis Deacon
Rutabaga the Adventure Chef: Book 1 by Eric Colossal
The Salamander Spell by E.D. Baker
Sophie's Fish by A.E. Cannon
Speak Easily by Clarence Budington Kelland
The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett
25 Roses by Stephanie Faris
Ukulele Hayley by Judy Cox
The Witchy Worries of Abbie Adams by Rhonda Hayter

Miscellaneous
My favorite books published in 2015
Reading goals for 2016

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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



Aground on St. Thomas: 12/23/15

Aground on St. Thomas by Rebecca M. Hale

Aground on St. Thomas by Rebecca M. Hale is the third of the Mystery on the Islands series. Chronologically I think it's actually the first as the author describes herself being stuck en route to St. John due to the U.S. federal government shutting down the island as they try to round up the local government on bribery charges.

Typically Hale's books skirt closer to actual events so that caricatures of local people in power are recognizable. Here, though, the story of the FBI take over seems spun out of whole cloth. More precisely, the mystery is completely fictional but it's set during a recognizable time with recognizable supporting characters.

Here though with an ensemble cast made up of leaders of the U.S. Virgin Islands, there's a greater need or temptation to make stuff up. This isn't a complaint on my part, just an observation of a change in writing style.

Among the cast there are two stand outs, the Mojito Man, who was inspired by an actual person the author met on one of her flights, and the Bishop of St Thomas who is obviously not a bishop but still recognizable to those in the know.

What this book reminds me of most is a gigantic shell game. There are so many characters in play and most of them are disguised as others or changing disguises as the need suits them. Keeping track of who's who is a big part of reading this book.

Four stars

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