Week #10: “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” by Seth Grahame-Smith


Welcome to week 10 of the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” series!  If you haven’t seen all the books take a moment and catch up!

This week I read “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” by Seth Grahame-Smith (this link takes you through to Amazon).  Before you close this post because of the title let me tell you- it was a great book.

While the premise seems completely unrealistic when you think about Abraham running around all Buffy-like, the author basically takes a bioigraphy of Lincoln and wraps a vampiric sub-plot inside.  The book begins with his childhood and moves through his adult life, tracing his journey from a son of a poor slightly alcoholic man to the President of the United States.  All the huge events of his life taught in school are shaped by vampires including his views on slavery.

I don’t want to divulge too much of the plot because I think for those who like history and something with a supernatural twist this is the perfect book.

It is one of those books that you KNOW isn’t true and yet you have to remind yourself several times because it seems so real.  The writing is incredible and easy to read.  It was so interesting I stayed up two nights in a row late to finish it.  I have heard this authors other books are nothing in comparison to this manuscript.

If you have a history buff in your house who likes the supernatural this is a MUST READ book.

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Book 8: “We’ll Always Have Parrots” by Donna Andrews


Welcome to week 8 of the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” series!  If you haven’t seen all the books take a moment and catch up!

I am taking credit for reading this book even though I still had 70 pages left.  The book I tried to read was “We’ll Always Have Parrots” by Donna Andrews.

Meg Langslow knew the fan convention for her actor-boyfriend’s hit television series was going to be the ultimate in weird. But she came along because she figured Michael could use an occasional dose of sanity-and because it was an inspired place to sell her hand-crafted weapons. And so far, she was dealing pretty well with the costumed fans camped outside, the batch of escaped parrots and monkeys frolicking throughout the hotel…and the minefield of egos lurking behind the show’s success.

But soon after Meg goes head-to-head with egomaniacal series star Tamerlaine Wynncliffe-Jones, the “Queen B” turns up brutally murdered. Now, with Michael in the running as prime suspect, Meg will go up against an all-star cast of not-even-innocent parties, hidden identities, and buried motives. And she’ll cross swords with a deviously obsessed murderer determined to write her out of this picture for good.

I tried everything in my power to finish this book.  I picked it up and put it down about 4 times.  It was just unbelievably BORING.

While the character of Meg was pretty relateable every other character in the book is completely ridiculous.  There was not one person that I cared about what happened to them including the woman who got murdered.  I have no idea who killed her and really don’t care.  And there are these parrots and monkeys running around during the entire book.  It was not difficult to picture myself walking around and shooting the things- they were driving me crazy.

When I looked at the reviews of this book on Amazon it appears that many people shared my opinion.  It seems that every other book in the series is rated higher so I may have just picked a bad one in the bunch.  Regardless it was bad enough that I won’t be picking up another one any time soon.

Next week I will be reviewing “The Killing Edge” by Heather Graham.

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Book 7: The Stephanie Plum Series by Janet Evanovich


Welcome to week 7 of the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” series!  If you haven’t seen all the books take a moment and catch up!

For those of you who follow A Frugal Chick’s Facebook page you have become aware of my new obsession with the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich.  The frenzy over the books has been excalated by the fact that the first in the series “One For The Money” was recently released in movie theaters nation-wide starring Katherine Hiegl.

The characters in the books are what make them addictive not necessarily the plot lines.

The main character is Stephanie Plum- a 30 something girl in Trenton who lost her job selling lingerie at Macys.  Out of desperation for some easy money she blackmails her cousin Vinnie into letting her for him as a bounty hunter.  She is a HORRIBLE bounty hunter- which leads to lots of laughs.  Her character is completely relateable- atleast to this single girl.

She has two men in her life and the way Evanovich writes them no mere mortals could EVER come close in real life.  Her best friends are Lu-Lu (a former hooker who now helps her chase down fugitives) and Connie (who is a stereo-typical big haired Jersey-girl).

Along with her pet hamster Rex and her insane family, Stephanie Plum’s character gets mixed up in all kinds of plots in her little part of the world.  But they work and I find myself laughing out loud when I read the books.

Don’t believe me?  Check out the books I have read in the last 20 days:

High Five

Hot Six

Seven Up

To The Nines

Lean Mean Thirteen

Fearless Fourteen

Finger Lickin’ Fifteen

Sizzling Sixteen

Smokin’ Seventeen

I have gotten all of these books at the library but if you wanted to own them the older ones are available used on Amazon for as little as $.01.

They have been published up to 18 so I am hoping to get them all read over the next little bit.

Are any of you fans?  What do you think of the series?

Next week I will be reviewing “We’ll Always Have Parrots” by Donna Andrews.  Don’t bother checking it out- it’s not going to be a favorable review.

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Book 6: “Just Desserts” by G.A. McKevett


Welcome to the 2012 series “52 Books in 52 Weeks.”  If you have missed a few books take a look back at the other books I have reviewed!

The book I read this week was “Just Desserts” by G.A. McKevett.  It appears it is out of print now but you can buy used copies online.  Or check your local library- that is where I got my copy!

If you remember one of the first books I reviewed was “A Decadent Way To Die” by G.A. McKevett (check out my review here).  After reading her most recent book I decided I wanted to go back and find out the beginning of the story of Savannah Reid, the main character.

A slightly overweight detective with a sweet tooth I had enjoyed reading about her previously.  G.A. did a great job setting up the characters in this first book- although the language is a bit harsher than I remember- she must have toned it down.  In this book she is trying really hard to make Savannah look tough- a few books in she seems to have loosened her up and made her a bit more relateable.

I feel like one of the reviews on Amazon does a great job explaining the plot: McKevett’s debut, set in San Carmelita, Calif., is an uneven mix of police procedural and gumshoe cliches. Georgia-born detective Savannah Reid and her  staid partner, Dirk Coulter, are split up after the body of city councilwoman  Beverly Winston’s husband is found shotgunned. In an unprecedented move,  Savannah is given the case alone and is told to concentrate on suspects other  than Beverly. She learns why: Beverly and police chief Norman Hillquist are
lovers. After refusing to abridge her investigation and discovering that  Hillquist confiscated a piece of evidence, she is fired, ostensibly for being  overweight. Then a prime suspect hires Savannah to find the real killer. In her  private life, Savannah worries as her naive younger sister is wined and dined by  a notorious pimp. An anonymous tipster, a gay detective couple and a computer  nerd who finally breaks the case join Savannah and the ever-loyal Dirk as they careen from one implausible situation to the next, failing to settle into  credible detecting.

Overall I liked the book however… next week will be the most ridiculous review ever.  I have read almost the entire Janet Evanovich Stephanie Plum series in the last three weeks.  It makes me horribly behind on these series so I am going to have to start reading some other things to catch up!

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Book 5: Outwitting Trolls by William G. Tapply (And A Fine Line)


Welcome to my series “52 Books in 52 Weeks“!  After two weeks of non-fiction I got back to my more traditional fiction.  If you missed my earlier book you can catch up on them here!

Book # 5 is Outwitting Trolls by William G. Tapply.

Brady Coyne is a Boston attorney who focuses on a few private clients and the legal drudgery of their everyday life, which leads to a generally unexciting life. Brady, however, gets a call from an old friend and former neighbor—a man from his past as a happily married man. When Brady was married and living in suburbia, Ken Nichols was his happily married neighbor. Both marriages fell apart years ago and Brady moved to Boston while Ken Nichols moved to Baltimore. Now a decade later and in Boston for a conference, Ken contacts Brady for a get-together and a drink. It’s an uneventful evening but the next day Brady gets a call from Nichols’ ex-wife. She’s standing in her ex’s hotel room, Nichols is lying dead on the floor of his room and she needs Brady’s help.

But this savage murder is only the first and Brady is soon trying to find the connection between these long ago friends and the savage murders dogging their family.

This was a really good book.  There is alot of action in his mysteries without being unrealistic.  I liked the characters alot and he does a great job of bringing them to life.

So after I read “Outwitting Trolls” I went to the library and got “A Fine Line” by Tapply and LOVED IT.  I had absolutely no clue who the murderer was until Tapply revealed it.  There were several twists in the plot I did not see coming.

On top of all of this the stories are set in Boston and the way Tapply describes the city it makes me want to go visit.  It sounds beautiful and you can see the love he has in his descriptions.

Unfortunately Tapply passed away in 2009 but he left a large collection on good books behind for us to enjoy.  I am sure the Brady Coyne character will be revived by some other author under his name.

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Book 4: The Shakespeare Thefts- In Search of the First Folios


Welcome to week 4 of the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” series!  If you haven’t seen all the books take a moment and catch up!

Book #4 in the series is another non-fiction- The Shakespeare Thefts: In Search of the First Folios by Eric Rasmussen.

I love the mysteries of the first folios.  The first edition of Shakespeare’s collected works, the First Folio, published in 1623, is one of the most valuable books in the world and has
historically proven to be an attractive target for thieves. Of the 160 First Folios listed in a census of 1902, 14 were subsequently stolen-and only two of these were ever recovered.  They have been stolen, smuggled, sold, destroyed and preserved by some of the wealthiest and poorest people in the world.

In Washington DC there is an amazing building called The Folger Shakespeare Library.  (I was able to go there last fall and take a tour- unreal for the Shakespeare nerd in me.)  It is the largest collection of First Folios in the world (yep, more than England).  Obviously as the books are highly valued there are numerous fake copies that people are trying to pass off as real.  To prevent this from happening a group of the world’s leading Shakespearean scholars spend years documenting every flaw!

In his efforts to catalog all these precious First Folios, renowned Shakespeare scholar Eric Rasmussen embarked on a riveting journey around the globe, involving run-ins with heavily tattooed criminal street gangs in Tokyo, bizarre visits with eccentric, reclusive billionaires, and intense battles of wills with secretive librarians. He explores the intrigue surrounding the Earl of Pembroke, arguably Shakespeare’s boyfriend, to whom the First Folio is dedicated and whose personal copy is still missing. He investigates the uncanny sequence of events in which a wealthy East Coast couple drowned in a boating accident and the next week their First Folio appeared for sale in Kansas.  We hear about Folios that were censored, the pages ripped out of them, about a volume that was marked in red paint-or is it blood?-on every page; and of yet another that has a bullet lodged in its pages.

Here are three of my favorite stories:

– In 1964 three members of the Royal Shakespeare Company traveled to Rome to perform in front of Pope Paul VI.  This was, surprisingly, the first time a Pope was documented viewing a Shakespearean production.  The actors brought the RSC’s prized copy of The First Folio to have the Pope bless it after the performance.  Apparently no one informed the Pope who accepted it as a gift.  And since no one corrects the Pope the actors didn’t know what to do!  It took months of diplomatic negotiating to get the folio returned to the proper owner.   There is no record of the folio ever being blessed.

– One folio, the Thomas Killigrew copy, has a bullet wound.  The bullet went through the first half of the book and stopped at Titus Andronicus.  This lead to the theater joke that Titus is the inpenetrable play.

– One of the folios almost made it into Hitler’s rare book collection.  The thief who stole it, David Lynch, was scared that the man who hired him to steal the book in 1940 was planning to sell it to Hitler.  So he turned himself in to suffer the consequences of the theft rather than have it turned over to hands who would abuse it.

The First Folios have a long and sorted history.  For those of you who enjoy history or just a good spy novel this might be a great book for you to read!

The book for next week is Outwitting Trolls by William Tapply.

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Book 3: “Crash Into Me: A Survivor’s Search For Justice” by Liz Seccuro


Welcome to my new series: 52 Books in 52 Weeks!  It’s my committment in 2012 to read a book each week and then share with you about it.

I want to warn you before you continue reading- this book was not a nice light read like the previous two books I have posted.  Usually I try to keep things light and easy on my site but this is not a light and easy read.

The book I read this week is “Crash Into Me: A Survivor’s Search For Justice” by Liz Seccuro.  It’s a short book- about 250 pages- and once I picked it up I couldn’t put it down.  I finished up about 2 a.m. and it has been on my mind ever since.

Here is my plot synopsis of the book: Liz Seccuro was a first year student at the University of Virginia (UVA) coming from a strong Catholic background in New York State.  A few weeks after school began a friend asked her to go to a frat party as his date since he needed a token female to go with him.  At this party she was given a spiked drink, forced into a bedroom upstairs and raped by a man named William.  After waking up the next morning she went to both the clinic on campus and talked to security/administration about the incident and neither did anything (which made me angry even as I was reading the book).  She documents well the process of trying to get anyone in authority to pay attention to her- all of which was met with more concern about the school’s reputation then her security.  Meanwhile William dropped out of school a few weeks after the incident.  She manages to complete her degree and tries to put the past behind her.

Time passes and she is now in a happy marriage with a beautiful two year old baby girl.  In the mail comes a letter for William apologizing for what happened as he is now going through AA and working on Steps 8 and 9 of their 12 step program.  This drudges up all of the old feelings of insecurity and violation.  As they continue to correspond she realizes that William has no concept of what he actually did that evening.  Liz begins doing research she discovers numerous instances of rape on the UVA campus where nothing was ever done by the school.  She reaches out to the authorities in that area who inform her that there is no statute of limitations on rape in Virginia so she files charges against William.  The remainder of the book is the trial and the results that come from it.

This book really made my mind churn when I read it.  As she reaches out for help in her college community and is continually denied and lied to by the administration I wanted to reach into the pages and strangle someone.  She is so honest about the process that a victim goes through after dealing with something traumatic and the benefits of being surrounded by supportive friends and family.  She does an excellent job of not bashing the university itself and does more praising of the people who helped rather than complaining about those who didn’t.  It is easy to tell she was an English major as the book is an easy read and she draws you right into both the horrible and uplifting parts of the story.

I am going to warn you: the book goes through sections of the trial transcript so it’s not a book you sit back and mindlessly read.  It will affect you in some way when you read it- whether you cry or get angry.  It was a very good read and I would recommend it to those of you who enjoy this type of non-fiction.

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.