Wednesday, July 30

Murder at the Mikado by Junlianna Deering

Life for a private investigator can be quite demanding, and Drew Farthering is no stranger to stress and business. Finally though, everything seems to be going smoothly. He’s engaged to the woman of his dreams and doesn’t have any cases demanding his attention. He soon finds out a storm is brewing behind the calm after a former girlfriend, Fleur, and her husband come in need of help. Fleur is the primary suspect in the murder of an actor she used to work with at The Mikado.

Despite not wanting to get drawn into Fleur’s life, Drew finds her husband extremely likeable and relents to their plea to help clear Fleur’s name (much to the chagrin of Drew’s fiancĂ©). However, as he begins to investigate it seems that this might be far more complicated than he though. It seems that everyone in the theatre troop had motive and few of them have any sort of alibi. All the while, the wedding draws nearer while the murder case becomes more and more muddled. Will Drew be able to get to the bottom of this case? And what sort of toll will this place on his relationship?

Wednesday, July 23

Brick by Brick by David C. Robertson with Bill Breen

It started with DUPLO. I was just a little tyke, bumbling around the house and talking in only semi-understandable words. I loved those big plastic blocks. Then, when I was a few years older, I was able to graduate to ‘big boy’ blocks: LEGO blocks! I remember going to the toy store with my dad and being shown a couple of sets I could pick from. In the end it was between a space set and a pirate set. Though I’m sure both of them would’ve occupied my imagination for hours upon hours, it was the pirate set that won out. It’s the first LEGO set I remember getting, and my collection only grew.

As a teenager I held on to my LEGO sets, but they got temporarily pushed to the side, only occasionally being pulled out. Recently, however, I’ve found myself being drawn back to LEGO.  I’m sorting through my old sets and acquiring new ones.

Sunday, July 13

The Harlem Hellfighters by Max Brooks

They are one of America’s best kept secrets. Serving in World War I, they spent more time in combat than other American units and were never overtaken by their enemies. Not a single man was captured, and they were well decorated. Despite all of this, this unit, comprised of African Americans, face discrimination from their own country.

Written by Max Brooks and illustrated by Caanan White, The Harlem Hellfighters seeks to not only show us the accomplishments of the 369th Infantry Regiment, but also to show us the horrors of racism they faced. Indeed, this is where this graphic novel best succeeds.

Wednesday, July 9

Mindwar by Andrew Klavan

In high school he was the star football player. Now, the only thing Rick Dial is good at is moping and playing video games. His mom and younger brother attempt to engage with him, but he shuts them out. His father is no longer around, having left with an old girlfriend. After a traffic accident leaves him crippled, he turned to video games to dull the pain.

Little does Rick know that this obsession with video games makes him a prime candidate for a secret government program. A Russian terrorist has created a whole digital reality, named the Realm. Through the Realm, he can launch attacks on American systems, wreaking havoc wherever technology could be found. Rick is tasked with entering the Realm to help stop this man before he can sow seeds of destruction and chaos across the country. In this digital world, Rick is freed from the constraints of his injury, but anything that happens to him there will affect his real body. If you die in the Realm, there are no extra lives.