All posts tagged: comedy

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson

For Major Ernest Pettigrew, life in the small village of Edgecombe St. Mary is a daily testament to the splendidly traditional English nature. In his long-time home, Rose Lodge, the Major spends his years of retirement partaking in the intricate social functions of his circle: rounds of golf, shooting parties, and proper afternoon teas. A widower, he has learned to find a sense of familiarity in being alone, and the superficial airs of his society friends feel quite natural. For the Major, though, life changes in an instant after the death of his brother, when he develops a surprising friendship with Jasmina Ali, the village’s widowed shopkeeper. As the Major and Mrs. Ali begin to fall in love, their newfound connection will face all manner of threats: whether from the Major’s friends, who see Mrs. Ali’s Pakastani heritage as an affront to convention, or from Mrs. Ali’s family, who see her widowhood as a sentence to withdraw from living, or even from the Major’s family, who will quickly put their greed over the Major’s wishes. …

Review: The Dream You Make by Christine Nolfi

Christine Nolfi made me an instant fan of her writing with her 2011 debut, Treasure Me, and I continue to look forward to her books with anticipation. Her fourth release, The Dream You Make, is the story of Annie McDaniel, a determined woman trying to stay positive in the face of troubling situations. Annie’s family life has been no walk in the park: her mother gone too soon, her father recently deceased, and her sister Toria a victim of a tragic crime. In the midst of her loss, Annie has been made the beneficiary of two most unexpected treasures: Green Interiors, the greenhouse that was her father’s life work – and Dillon, Toria’s five year-old son. Annie falls head-over-heels for Dillon as she gets to know him for the first time, but she’ll have to fight a draining custody battle against a well-off couple from Dillon’s past before she can truly call him her own. In her efforts to keep Dillon, Annie takes on a second job at Rowe Marketing where she finds an entirely …

Review: Triceratops by Marcus Gorman

Marcus Gorman’s Triceratops tells the story of two remarkable twentysomethings from the West Coast set adrift in the madness of New York City: Charlotte, roaming the streets armed only with a liquor addiction, a mouth like a sailor, and her artist ex-lover’s disturbing final work; and Henry, a guy whose primary life concerns involve Beat generation poets and a dedicated knowledge of jazz music. After spending a hazardous night together back in Seattle Henry and Charlotte never expected to see one another again – and definitely not on the other side of the country, in the middle of the night, in the middle of an empty New York street. But as their lives work their perverse magic the two are thrown together for three weeks filled with the sort of insanity that only New York City is capable of. Swallowed up in a scene filled with art, music, sexuality, liquor, drugs, and madness, the two find friends, lovers, and enemies amid New York’s wildest array of characters: its musicians and artists. Combining dark comedy with …

Review: I Kill Me: Tales of a Jilted Hypochondriac by Tracy H. Tucker

Christine Bacon lives a normal life; a high school English teacher, she’s married to her high school sweetheart with two children and a duo of pets. The abnormality of her life comes from her penchant for death: Christine is a hypochondriac, and a committed one. In the age of technology Christine’s fearful conclusion-jumping is given a satisfyingly in-depth boost, allowing her to uncover the worst case scenarios behind every bump and tingle she experiences in her day-to-day with just the click of a mouse. But Christine’s life gets a little more complicated when her husband proposes a threesome with his British masseuse. Christine’s desire to please her husband dissolves as she’s met with humiliating circumstances, and before long she finds herself on the receiving end of a divorce. Now she must survive the heartbreak of her broken marriage as well as the numerous maladies she concocts for herself – while maintaining her job, raising her children, and finally getting back into the dating pool. But Christine soon realizes that what started as a hellish reality …

Review: Spy in a Little Black Dress by Maxine Kenneth

It’s the early 1950s and young Jacqueline Bouvier is on her second assignment with the CIA: visiting the tumultuous political scene of Havana and investigating a young rebel at the fore of a potential uprising – his name is Fidel Castro. When she stumbles upon the diary of a nineteenth century soldier which hints at a treasure buried in Cuba, Jackie takes on a second quest, but despite the aid (and pleasing attentions) of a handsome young lawyer named Emiliano, Jackie soon finds the Cuban secret police and a motley crew of East German spies on her trail. With endless courage and utmost style, Jackie must stay a step ahead of her enemies if she wants to have a future with the CIA – or maybe any future at all. Peppered with appearances from the likes of Frank Sinatra, Grace Kelly, and Ernest Hemingway, her adventure in Havana will be one to remember. Based on an actual letter in the Kennedy library, Spy in a Little Black Dress is the second novel in Jacqueline Bouvier’s …

Review: A Night Like This by Julia Quinn

Last year Julia Quinn gave us Just Like Heaven, the first in a new series starring her Smythe-Smith family and their notoriously terrible musicale. In A Night Like This, governess Anne Wynter has been tasked with the prospect of filling in for her employer’s all-too-conveniently ill daughter at the yearly musicale, an event which catapults her into an unlikely meeting with the handsome, hunted Daniel Smythe-Smith. Anne has grown accustomed to living in quiet anonymity as she attempts to hide from a tumultuous past under the guise of a new identity. She knows it’s only a matter of time before the reality of her youthful plight catches up with her, but she carries on all the same. Daniel, as well, is trying to move on from past circumstances: after nearly killing his good friend in a drunken duel, Daniel was forced to leave the country for years to escape the murderous vengeance of an irate marquess. But now, Daniel has been made to believe he may return to England with his head intact. This doesn’t …

Review: Dog Trots Globe by Sheron Long

As a reader of The Girl Who Stole the Eiffel Tower you’re probably aware of these two basic truths about little old me: I deeply appreciate all things French and I’m an ardent dog lover. My Shetland Sheepdog, Dusty, is nearly as much a mascot of this blog as the iconic Girl and Eiffel Tower. So imagine my delight to discover Sheron Long’s book, Dog Trots Globe, in which she documents a trip to Paris and Provence through the eyes of her dog, Chula. And you guessed it: Chula is a Sheltie! Not only is the concept of Dog Trots Globe completely adorable, but it’s incredibly well executed to boot. Through Chula, who is full of zest and charm, Sheron infuses the book with historical facts, travel tips and all the joie de vivre to be expected with the subject of France. Add in some stunning photography and witty illustrations and you have one whimsical, entertaining and insightful travel book. I caught myself with a big smile on my face as I was sifting through …