Flash! Promising new Mystery writer! And if this first book is any
indication her “Jane Wunderly Series” will be very popular. Classified
as historical fiction/mystery, Murder at the Mena House is a credit to
Set in early 1920’s Egypt this novel is chock-full of historical details. From the
Great Pyramid of Giza to the bustling streets of Cairo, the author stunningly
depicts the many well-loved tourist attractions. Sadly, these are soon to be
shrouded in mystery and drama. You guessed it…. a murder most foul!
Correction, make that MURDERS.
Lest you be deceived, don’t let the supposed festive and light-hearted,
congenial atmosphere at the Mena House Resort fool you. There is evil afoot.
Who could possibly want the beautiful Anna dead? Did the delightful newlywed
couple decide to choke the life out of her between dips in the pool? What about
the classy American tourist and her spunky secretive aunt, did the jewels Anna
flaunt look like souvenirs worth killing for? And who is that handsome, eligible
sophisticated gentlemen whose connection to an array of questionable characters
makes him a too obvious suspect.
Now don’t make the mistake of overlooking the servants as possible
murderers. But isn’t it their job to happily and contentedly provide five-star
service to the guests, you ask? Well it is unless they have a nasty gambling habit
and their empty coffers could be filled with the victims impressive and valuable
trinkets! I’m just saying…….
Blackmail, smuggling, murder, deception and a possible romance create a
plot that is full of intrigue, suspense, action (gotta have a chase scene!) and
humor. Ok, maybe a deadly scorpion ready to sting is not hilarious.
It is always a good sign when I cannot wait to read another chapter of a book
and yet don’t want to read too fast and have it end……and this was exactly that
kind of novel. Personally, I can’t wait for the next book in the series.
Submitted by Mary Lyons Hall
Is Dr. John Sarno a crackpot or an author worthy of critical acclaim?
Although his book titled “Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection”
was written many years ago, I believe it is very relevant and applicable
for today. You may be thinking, “but I don’t have a back problem, why
should I read the book?”. To which I would have you focus on the second
part of the title…..”The Mind-Body Connection”. No, it’s not about being
a hypochondriac or having imaginary diseases. Rather it explores and explains
how suppressing those pesky emotions of anger and frustration can cause
oxygen deprivation which in turn causes very real pain in not only the back but
In many other areas as well.
What makes this different from the commonly held theory that stress causes
things like backache, ulcers and headaches is Dr. Sarno’s conviction and proof
that we would rather deal with an actual physical ailment instead of uncovering
and working through ugly emotions we may not even be aware of.
It is not psycho-babble or Fruedian dribble, but a decisive explanation and easy
to understand step by step guide to relieving pain in body and mind.
I found this book to be accurate, clear and logical. It has helped me in ways
I had not thought possible. Read it, you have nothing to lose but your pain!
Submitted by Mary Lyons Hall
Long considered a classic as well as Dostoevsky’s best work, The Brothers Karamazov is a fictional tome of 729 pages. After seeing tons of reviews, I decided to be brave and find out what all the fuss was about.
Many commentaries raved about the profound psychological and theological themes and revelations. Others claimed it was an in-depth analysis of Russia’s ethics, politics and religion. I just wanted to see if I could even read the book! I’m happy to report that I did indeed read and even FINISHED the novel. But it was NOT easy!
In all fairness, I believe it loses a lot in the translation from Russian to English. The idioms and cultural aspects were often confusing and distracting. Therefore, I readily admit that in Russian this book is likely much better……..maybe?
The English translation I read was by Constance Garrett and it was pretty much a chore to read. There were numerous times I put it down never intending to pick it up again! Really. Yet there was SOMETHING compelling and intriguing about the book that kept me going back for more. There were even a few chapters that I liked so much I couldn’t put the book down! (Ok, I admit it, I loved the murder and mayhem parts!)
So what is my humble opinion? It is an epic story of greed, envy and mental illness. The Karamazov family gives new meaning to the word dysfunctional. Their interpersonal relationships are at times bizarre and puzzling and at other times there is some love and tenderness. However, the family dynamics are so intriguing and beguiling that I kept being drawn back into the unfolding saga. I developed a fascination for the characters that compelled me to see how it all turned out. (Spoiler…….it did not turn out well!)
My recommendation? If you have the time and are curious enough to find out why this is a classic, I say, “Go for it!”. If nothing else you will have bragging rights that you were able to tackle this tome. UDACHI!
Note: This novel is in the public domain therefore both the ebook and audiobook are readily available and Free on sites such as Librivox.com
Submitted by Mary Hall