Saturday, August 27, 2016

Book Review: Caramel, Caramel and More Caramel! by Michal Moses and Ivana Nitzan



Book Review: Caramel, Caramel and More Caramel! by Michal Moses and Ivana Nitzan
Review by Dawn Thomas

128 Pages
Publisher: Imagine by Charlesbridge

Cooking, Food & Wine, Sauces & Toppings, Confectionery

I love cookbooks. Every time I open one, I am immediately drawn into a world of wonderful pictures and endless possibilities. This book did not let me down. The authors are founders of Petit Gateau, a catering company that creates pastries, graphic design and food styling. They also co-wrote Cupcake Nibbles and Organic Sweets & Treats. I knew I was in for treat when I opened the book.

There are over 50 recipes in the book. They range from sweet and savory so there is something for everyone.  The opening line is “Who Doesn’t Love Caramel?!” and I have to agree. The photography in the book is wonderful. The food jumps off the page at you. The recipes are easy to follow and most have simple ingredients. There are many sweet dishes but also savory dishes with chicken, onions and salmon. I never expected to find those items in a caramel book but the recipes sound intriguing.

It was hard to pick out just one favorite from this book. I liked the strawberry lettuce salad with caramelized balsamic dressing. The two varieties of caramelized pecans were very good. The spicy version has a nice kick to it. I had never tried an onion tart and I was surprised by how easy it was to make. I love banana pancakes and the peanut butter caramel sauce was a great addition. My goal is to try a new recipe every week and with so many to pick from, I will be busy for a long time.

Book Review: A Cold White Fear (A Meg Harris Mystery) by RJ Harlick



Book Review: A Cold White Fear (A Meg Harris Mystery) by RJ Harlick
Review by Dawn Thomas

344 Pages
Publisher: Dundurn Publishing

Murder, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Canada, Native American

This is the seventh book in the Meg Harris Mystery series and takes place in Canada. Meg Harris and Jid, a twelve-year-old Algonquin boy, are preparing for Christmas in her isolated home. A winter snowstorm is bearing down on them when there is a knock on the door. Two men are on the doorstep asking her to open the door. She is apprehensive but one of the men tells her he is from the Indian reservation and needs medical attention. She opens the door and lets them in. Viper, covered in snake tattoos, explains how his friend Larry was injured in a car accident when they slid off the road. Meg is suspicious of the man’s injury since it appears to be a gunshot wound. She tells Jid, who is out back gathering wood, to go to the reservation and get help.

Meg escapes out the back door while the two men are resting. While hiking through the woods she hears voices. She recognizes Jid but not the man with him. When Jid cries out in pain, Meg knows she must do whatever possible to save Jid. They return to the house and are kept as hostages. Because of the blizzard conditions, the power goes out and trees are blowing against the house. Now it is not only about survival from their capturers but also from the elements.

For the next 24 hours, Meg concocts multiple escape plans every chance she gets. It definitely is a race against time. The book was a fast read and I enjoyed the suspense. There was a bit of violence and an abusive act against Meg. This was my first book from the author and I will look for more of her work in the future.

Book Review Blood Defense by Marcia Clark



Book Review Blood Defense by Marcia Clark
Review by Dawn Thomas

398 Pages
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Mystery & Thriller, General Fiction (Adult), Legal, Courtroom Drama, Women Sleuths

This is the first book in the Samantha Brinkman series. In this series, Samantha is a defense attorney as opposed to the Rachel Knight series where the main character is a prosecutor.

The news is full of stories about a police detective accused of murdering two young women. Samantha needs a case like this to keep her office afloat. She knows taking his case would be good for her career and would give her publicity. On the other hand, everyone knows she is not fond of the police. She has mixed feelings when she receives a call from the detective that he would like to meet with her.

Dale, a well-known police office without any blemishes in his career is accused of the double murder and asks Samantha to represent him. In the case, she knows she does not have to prove anything; she only has to provide reasonable doubt. When Dale reveals some surprising news to Samantha, she is shocked to her core. The case turns personal to Samantha when her office is set on fire and her apartment is ransacked. Now she knows the only thing she can do is prove Dale is innocent and someone else committed the crime.

Samantha had a difficult childhood with a mother incapable of loving her. I could relate to this on so many levels. She is a woman with flaws and does not try to hide them. She gets things done anyway she can even it if is not exactly legal. I found the characters in the book well developed and look forward to learning more about them in future books. If you enjoy legal courtroom thrillers like books by John Grisham, this would be a good book for you.