Jul 28, 2013

Tehanu

Tehanu (The Earthsea Cycle, Book 4)Tehanu by Ursula K. Le Guin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Goha, who was once Tenar of Atuan takes in a badly burned girl who had been abused by her family. The girl does not give a name so Tenar calls her Therru. Not long after Ogion sends for her. Ogion recognizes "power" in the girl and instructs Tenar to train her but not to send her to Roke.

The Lord of Re Albi is using a soccer (Aspen) to steal life from his grandson and keep himself alive.

Tenar buries Ogion and follows his instructions to wait. Eventually Kalessin arrives with Ged on his back. Kalessin gives Tenar his name, before he leaves. Tenar cares for Ged and he eventually regains his physical strength but the magic is all gone. Not ready to face the outside world when the King sends envoys to seek Ged on Gont he flees to Tenar's home.

Aspen places a curse on Tenar she manages to flee with Therru, who is being pursued by one of the men who burned her. They stumble on to the King's ship. The King recognizing Goha as Tenar provides her with aid and takes Tenar and Therru to Tenar's Farm.

Ged has been sent with the goats to mountain pasture when she reaches home. At the beginning of winter Therru's attackers come to the farm to take her but Ged follows them there and injuries one and sends the others running. Ged and Tenar become lovers, and Therru's parents. Tenar's son returns to the farm and lays claim to it. Tenar, Ged and Therru head back to Gont when word reaches them that Auntie Moss (the witch of Gont) is ill. On the way there Aspen puts Ged and Tenar under a spell, Therru manages to hide from him, and he does not realize that she had been with them. Therru calls Kalessin. The next day Aspen takes Ged and Tenar to the cliff where he plans to throw them off but Kalessin arrives and kills Aspen and those with him. Kalessin gives Therru her true name Tehanu and reveals he had been searching for her. He ask if she wants to go with him and she does but she wishes Ged and Tenar to go too and Kalessin says they can not. Tehanu decides to stay with Ged and Tenar for the time being as they have a lot to learn and Kalessin says one day he will return for her.

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Jul 27, 2013

When the Eagle Hunts

When the Eagle Hunts (Eagle, #3)When the Eagle Hunts by Simon Scarrow
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is unbelievable and I am totally disgusted by the number of horses/mules killed.

General Plautius' wife and children are shipwrecked behind enemy lines and taken prisoner by a fanatical set of Druids of the Dark Moon. The Druids have issued an ultimatum free the Druid prisoners captured by the Romans are the General's family will be sacrificed to Cruach at the First Budding. Cato and Macro are sent behind enemy lines with Iceni guides Prasutagus and Boudica to rescue them.

After barely escaping from an ambush, the group finally get on the trail of the Druids and their hostages. They arrive at the sacred grove not long after the Druids left to discover Diomedes (Greek trader trying to avenge his family) impaled on a stake through the anus. Before he dies he tells them the General's family is being taken to Mai Dun - The Great Fortress.

Desperate to reach them before they reach The Great Fortress and a rescue becomes impossible they push on and barely get there in time. When the wagon carrying the prisoners is temporarily separated from it's warrior escort they make their move. Macro is grievously injured in the rescue attempt, unable to free the General's wife who is chained they leave with the two children but the young boy escapes from them and runs back to his Mother. Boudica takes the unconscious Macro and the General's daughter back to Vespasian, while Cato and Prasutagus try to find a way to rescue the General's wife and son. The Druid's angered by the rescue attempt send the boy's finger to Vespasian with the threat that if another rescue attempt is make the prisoners will be sacrificed early. Cato sneaks into The Great Fortress, but is unable to free the hostages.

Vespasian leads an attack on The Great Fortress and Cato with a small band of men sneak in and rescue the General's wife and son. Cato is seriously wounded during the escape and winds up in the same hospital room as Macro. The General's gratitude extends to making Cato a Centurion. Boudica and Prasutagus return to their tribe and are married.

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Jul 24, 2013

Give Yourself a Raise

Give Yourself a Raise -- How to Have: More Money, Less Stress, Financial FreedomGive Yourself a Raise -- How to Have: More Money, Less Stress, Financial Freedom by Gordon Bennett
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Easy to understand, mostly common sense.

Really wasn't very useful to me as I already do most of the stuff he advised. I do disagree with him about using cash to make purchases. There are several advantages to using credit cards.
1. If your purse/wallet is lost or stolen you can report the credit card lost/stolen and have it canceled. You aren't responsible for any fraudulent charges. Whereas the cash is just gone.
2. It saves time. I really hate it when I am in a hurry and I get behind someone who is scrounging around in their purse for the exact change or they are writing out a check. Much faster to swipe a credit card.
3. You don't have to worry about the cashier not giving you the correct change.
4. If there is a problem with your purchase, most credit cards offer some sort of help in reaching a satisfactory resolution with the seller.
You should however pay your credit card balance off in full and on time. And you should make sure you card has no annual fees or hidden cost associated with it.

I also disagree with him about debt. I don't think going into debt to buy a house or car is unreasonable. And I disagree about having to have a 20% down payment on a house. Like cars you should be able to finance houses for 100% of their purchase price. That said you should carefully consider how much you can afford to spend on a house note, get a fixed rate loan and factor in that property taxes or house insurance will go up over the life of your mortgage.

He totally ignores student loan debt, which is a huge drain on our economy.

Like his emphasis on having plans and goals.

I wouldn't waste my money on the book but if you have trouble managing your money you might want to consider it. Tip see if your library has it and save the purchase price.

Reviewed for the Cadence Group.

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New York to Dallas ~ An In Death Novel

New York to Dallas (In Death, #33)New York to Dallas by J.D. Robb
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When "The Collector" (Isac McQueen) escapes from prison he is obsessed with getting even with the Rookie (Eve Dallas) who was responsible for putting him in a cage.

With Roarke's help Eve will follow him to Dallas and back into the nightmare of her childhood. Working against the clock to discover McQueen's whereabouts in time to rescue his hostages, she must confront the woman who gave her birth and left her with a monster.

But the big question isn't IF Eve will capture McQueen, but if she will find the strength to let him live.

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Jul 21, 2013

Inferno

Inferno (Chronicles of Nick, #4)Inferno by Sherrilyn Kenyon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Surprising ending looking forward to #5.

Adarian isn't the bad guy everyone believes him to be. He honestly does love Nick's Mother and will sacrifice his life to save her.

Caleb founds out who Kody really is and swears fealty to her, even though Nick is now his master, because Adarian bound Caleb to his powers not his life. Nick also has control of Zavid (an Aamon) because he saved his life. Seems like whenever the Malachai spares the life of a daemon the daemon is enslaved by the Malachai. To Nick's credit he was clueless when he saved Zavid's life and was only paying Zavid back for freeing him from Helheim.

Grim tells Nick that Kody was sent to kill him and they break up. Zavid's sister (Zarelda) is working with Grim in order to free her brother, under Grim's orders she posses Casey (head cheer leader). Casey/Zarelda makes a play for Nick, and starts to feed his ego. When they are attacked by Nick's former friends Alan and Tyree (the two boys that beat and shot Nick when Kyrian saved his life), Casey/Zarelda urges Nick to kill Alan. Which will pretty much damn Nick and the entire human race. Simi shows up and kisses him to prevent his killing Alan. Then Ash shows up and intervenes when the police go to arrest him.

Bubba Burdette ask Nick for permission to date Nick's Mother.

(Mount Olympus) Artemis is working with Order to stop the Malachai, after Ambrose changes.

When Adarian gives Nick his powers Kody gives Nick a binding potion that will bind his powers and shield him from his enemies. But the binding potion may have had some side effects Kody didn't count on. Nick's wish to have a normal average life may actually come true.

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Jul 20, 2013

If She Only Knew

If She Only Knew (San Francisco #1)If She Only Knew by Lisa Jackson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When Kylie awakes after being in a horrible accident she can't remember who she is, although everyone insist that she is Marla Cahill. The only one who has doubts is her brother in law Nick, and their fatal attraction may cost them both their lives.

Will Kylie be able to remember  the twisted motivation that lead to her posing as Marla and giving up her son, before the killer succeeds in killing her. And will Nick be able to forgive her for her deceptions.

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Jul 19, 2013

Ever Fall

EverFallEverFall by Joe Hart
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Plagued by anxiety whenever there are storms self medicating with alcohol helps him get through. But slowly alcohol is taking over his life. During a particularly hellish storm he is drinking while he family huddles in the hall. A malevolent evil snatches them from this world and into Ever Fall.

Just as he is beginning to give up hope of seeing Jane (his wife) and his children (Sara & Jack), two mysterious strangers (Ellius and Fellow) show up and promise to lead him to them. Thus he willing goes to Ever Fall. Ellius arranges for Kotis to aid in the search as Ellius can not leave the forest.

Kotis and Fellow prove to be true friends, the evil is defeated and he is reunited with his family, but sadly they discover there is no way out of Ever Fall for him. His family returns home without him and he slowly resigns himself to life in Ever Fall.

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Jul 18, 2013

Alterant

Alterant (Belador, #2)Alterant by Sherrilyn Kenyon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Love this book, I don't understand why my local library never got it in, in book form.

This is book #2 in the series. Evalle is once again having to prove her loyalty in order to stay free. But this time more then her freedom is at stake Brina backed her up and faces punishment by the Tribunal if Evalle fails. Forbidden to ask anyone with Viper for help Evalle is trasported into Tristan's prison in South America. Storm is able to track her but not before Tristan is able to escape and teaches Evalle how to heal after they are brutally attacked by demons and nearly killed. Once Storm is there to protect Evalle Tristan teleports away.

Macha (Goddess) extorts a promise from Brina that she will let Tzader go. If Tzader chooses not to move on with someone new she promises to find a way Brina and Tzader can be together.

Evalle uses one of her gifts from the Tribunal to follow Tristan to Atlanta. She discovers him in the Maze of Death. The three Alterants she is suppose to bring back are being held prisoner by Kizira, who wants to capture Evalle. Working together Tristan and Evalle (who uses her second gift to save their lives) are able to free the Alterants (who are actually Rias). Tristan transports Evalle to Storms location but then runs out on her with the two remaining Alterants (Rias). His goal is to protect his sister (Petrina). Evalle is able to figure out where they went from something one of the Alterants (Rias) said, and she tracks them with Storm's help.

Evalle confronts Tristan and is about to win his agreement to come to the Tribunal with her when Isak Nyght shows up and attacks the Alterants. In order to allow them to escape Evalle uses her third gift to disperse the fog that forces Alterants to take their Beast form that Kizira called up (which the Tribunal claims she shouldn't have been able to do). Sen shows up to bring Evalle before the Tribunal as her time has run out. Storm tries to stop him and Sen leaves him unconscious as he transports Evalle to the Tribunal.

Evalle is found guilty and is imprisoned by Viper. Brina's hologram is imprisoned by the Tribunal, leaving the Beladors at risk. Tzader makes a deal with Macha to recognize the Alterants as part of her pantheon winning freedom for both Evalle and Brina.

Evalle is suppose to track down Tristan, but before she can do so he is contacted by the Belador Traitor who is working with Kizira.

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Jul 14, 2013

Sugar's Furry Friend

Sugar Furry Friend by Maria Rosalyn Acero


A delightful book about the friendship between a golden retriever and a chipmunk. Perfect for the young children in your life.

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The Farthest Shore

The Farthest Shore (Earthsea Cycle #3)The Farthest Shore by Ursula K. Le Guin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A wizard (Cob) that Ged encountered in his youth has used his skills to open the door to death. Now mages are losing their powers and the world is being unmade. With the help of Arren (the Prince of Enlad and the future King after he fulfills the prophesy) and the dragon Orm Embar (who sacrifices his life so Ged can destroy the evil) Ged will confront Cob in the land of the dead and defeat him. With the last of his energy and magic spent closing the door on death, Arren has to carry Ged back to the land of the living.

The dragon Kalessin will carry Ged to his home and Arren to his Kingdom.

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Zimmerman Verdict Sickening

A young man who had merely walked to the store from his Father's home to buy a  bag of Skittles and an Arizona drink was killed by George Zimmerman. There was no doubt who the shooter was, so finding Zimmerman guilty of at least manslaughter should have been a no brainier.

Read more here: http://www.sunherald.com/2013/07/13/4794119/jurors-resume-deliberations-in.html#storylink=cpy


Alas it wasn't Florida's ridiculous stand your ground law was cited as Zimmerman's defense. Apparently after trailing Trayvon Martin through the neighborhood because he "looked suspicious", not because he was doing anything wrong mind you but merely because Zimmerman didn't like the way he looked a confrontation between Zimmerman and the unarmed 17 year old Martin ensued.

Now here is where things get really bizarre supporters of Zimmerman and the stand your ground law are outraged that Martin may have thrown a punch at the guy harassing him. In fact they believe that Trayvon's attempt to defend himself against an armed Zimmerman was a valid reason for Zimmerman to gun him down. And like many others I wonder how the pro-Zimmerman crowd would respond if Zimmerman had been black and Trayvon Martin white, would they still be as pleased with the verdict? And what does the verdict say about a society that allows an unarmed 17 year old to be gunned down for merely walking in his own neighborhood with NO repercussions for the killer.

For those pleased with the verdict consider these cases.

This has to be the most bizarre case S.C. Supreme Court Abruptly Halts Murder Trial to Hear Arguments on ‘Stand Your Ground’ — After an Armed Intruder Uses It to Justify Killing a Homeowner.
Gregg Isaac testified in court this week that he entered the apartment of Antonio Corbitt in 2005 with another man, Tavares World, after World kicked in the door, The State newspaper reported. Isaac testified that as World and Corbitt fought, it looked like Corbitt was going to pull a gun and shoot Isaac, so instead, Isaac shot Corbitt twice. Corbitt stumbled outside and died.
Isaac said he also feared for his life from World, because World had threatened to kill him unless he went along with him.
Isaac’s defense attorney Mark Schnee argued that his client should be granted immunity from prosecution because South Carolina’s 2006 “stand your ground” law allows people to use deadly force if they fear for their lives.

From Seven Faces of NRA/ALEC-Approved "Stand Your Ground" Law
 
Daniel Adkins, Jr., 29, was the only son of Daniel and Antonia Adkins of Phoenix. He was mentally disabled and lived with his parents. One night in April 2012, on his usual evening walk with the family dog, he stepped in front of a car in a Taco Bell drive-thru.
The driver, Cordell Jude, 22, claims he mistook the bright green dog leash in Adkins' upraised hand for a bat or a pipe, according to the police report. Jude, who carried a Smith and Wesson .40-caliber handgun at his hip, shot him once in the torso and killed him. He stayed at the scene afterwards because Adkins' dog was still attached by the leash, and was apparently in the way of the car. But police did not arrest Jude.


Demetrius ("DT") Antuan Thompson, 21, was near the house of a woman who was reportedly his step-father's ex-girlfriend in Jefferson County, Alabama one morning in May 2013. The woman, whose name was not released, was walking her dog and saw someone run by her home -- it may or may not have been Thompson -- and went inside to get a gun. She told police later that she was concerned because her boyfriend had been robbed recently. She walked back outside, and saw a man walk towards her that she says she did not recognize. She told police that she told him to stop, and that she was armed, but he continued to approach. She fired, and Thompson died at the end of her driveway.

Brandon Zeth was 24 years old, a mechanic and outdoorsman in Altoona, Pennsylvania. In early 2012, he was inebriated and tried to return to his girlfriend's house late at night, but accidentally ended up on the back porch of the nearly identical house next door, pounding on the window of a stranger rather than his girlfriend, according to WTAJ News.
The homeowner Timothy Lepore, who is in his early sixties, reportedly shot him five times, twice in the arms and three times in the chest, with a 22 caliber gun. Police report there is no evidence that Zeth tried to break in to the house.
"We don't know if he is going to live or if he is going to die, just because this man shot him outside on his porch," Zeth's father Don told WTAJ News, who said he wanted everyone to see, "what he did to that boy for being at the wrong place at the wrong time." Zeth later died of complications from the gun shot wounds after spending a month at a Pittsburgh hospital, according to the Associated Press.

Billy Kuch was 23 years old in 2009. His parents say he was bipolar and had a drinking problem. One night, he stumbled to the front door of the wrong house in a neighborhood of identical houses in Land O'Lakes, Florida.
According to the Tampa Tribune, the homeowner, Gregory Stewart, "opened the door and told Kuch to leave, then went outside and searched the area to make sure he did. Kuch returned later and again tried to open the front door. This time, Stewart grabbed his .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun and told his wife to call 911." But Kuch "had an unlit cigarette in one hand and a shirt in the other. He wanted to borrow a lighter."
Kuch put his hands up in the air, palms facing forward. According to the Tribune, "He was mumbling incoherently and swaying. But he took a few steps toward Stewart before Stewart fired one shot."


Christopher Cote was 19 years old in 2006 when his family moved to a neighborhood in West Palm Beach, Florida. In the early hours of September 17, 2006, according to the Florida Sun Sentinel, Cote confronted his neighbor, Jose Tapanes, over whether or not Cote was walking his dog on Tapanes' property.
The two had apparently argued earlier in the day, and according to the Palm Beach Post, Cote had thrown a beer bottle at Tapanes that night.
Tapanes shot Cote with his shotgun. According to Assistant State Attorney Andrew Slater, the first bullet grazed Cote's abdomen, and he was incapacitated, but Tapanes still shot a second time. "Cote is stumbling. He is no longer a danger, and the defendant can see what is going on," Slater said. "Why fire a second time?"
Cote died in his mother's arms. Due to a mistrial, Tapanes was tried twice for first degree murder. He was convicted of manslaughter the first time, and faced 15 years in prison. At the second trial, however, he was acquitted under Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law. Cote, was unarmed.

ALEC has given us some very bad laws STAND YOUR GROUND is possibly the worst. It's time we get rid of a law that allows the killing of innocent people. 

Jul 12, 2013

Mistress of the Game

Sidney Sheldon's Mistress of the GameSidney Sheldon's Mistress of the Game by Tilly Bagshawe
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Game continues.

Alexandra dies in childbirth leaving Peter Templeton distraught while he dotes on the daughter (Lexi) Alexandra died giving birth to he blames his son (Robbie) for all the attention and time she gave him. A huge rift grows between Father and Son. Eventually Robbie renounces his claim to Kruger-Brent and moves to Paris. Where his piano career takes off, when he becomes the lover of a famous conductor.

Lexi is determined to rule Kruger-Brent. Kidnapped as a child, she lost her hearing in an explosion. No one thinks a deaf woman can rule Kruger-Brent, not even Peter. Everyone assumes that Max Webster (Eve's son) will get the chairman job. But Lexi impresses everyone with her business savy and she is days away from getting the job when Max (who has seduced her on his Mother's orders) puts sex pictures of Lexi on the net. The board ask her to resign due to the ensuing scandal and Max gets the chairman job.

But Max has his own secrets. Eve has carefully plotted revenge against those who harmed her and top of her list was Max's Father Keith Webster (he destroyed her face). When Max was a boy she had him kill Keith. After having children of his own the murder of his Father haunts Max.

Lexi starts her own real estate company and is a rising star in the business community while Max seems to be destroying Kruger-Brent. Some shady business dealings place Lexi in charge of Kruger-Brent and Max takes his own life. Lexi now seems to have everything she has ever wanted. She is married to Gabe McGregor, they have a lovely baby Maxine and she is in control of Kruger-Brent. Then Eve accuses her of stock manipulation. On the verge of being arrested Lexi, Gabe and their baby daughter flee the country.

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Jul 10, 2013

Smoke

SmokeSmoke by Mavis Jukes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A sweet story with a happy ending.

When Colton moves from Idaho to California he has a hard time adjusting. Even though he is making new friends he misses his Grandfather and Father. His cat Smoke means everything to him, not only is Smoke his best friend he was a gift from his Father. When Smoke goes missing he is heartbroken. His new friends pull together to help find Smoke, but the longer Smoke is gone the more hopeless Colton feels. One night when he is alone at the house he thinks he hears a meow and goes to investigate. Thinking he hears a cougar he hides in an abandoned house on the property. Fearful of the cougar and the ghost that haunts the abandoned house, Colton doesn't respond when rescuers knock on the door of the abandoned house. His Dad who happens to be driving through the area finds him, but sadly the rescuers also found a large dead cat. Colton is desolate thinking it is Smoke, but his Mom's new boyfriend goes to look at the cat and discovers it was a Mother Cat, he finds her kittens nearby and rescues them. He leaves one with Colton and he takes the other to find a good home for it. At first Colton is going to refuse the kitten but then his best friend Madison shows up with unbelievable news. Not only does Colton decide to keep the kitten he arranges for Madison to have the other kitten. Boy is someone going to be in for a surprise when they finally get home.

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Jul 7, 2013

The Tombs of Atuan

The Tombs of Atuan (The Earthsea Cycle, #2)The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K. Le Guin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Tenar is taken from her family as a young child to serve the Nameless Ones as the first priestess. As she becomes a young woman she is forced to offer sacrifices to the Nameless Ones. Her only relief from the boredom is to explore the labyrinth where only she is allowed. One day she discovers a wizard (Ged) in the tombs, looking for the Ring of Erreth-Akbe.

At first she imprisons him and says she is going to make him a slave of the Nameless Ones. But when she realizes the priestess Kossil intends to kill him she hides him away in the treasure room.

Realizing she is in danger from Kossil who suspects she lied about having Ged killed she goes to Ged and together they escape, with the Ring of Erreth-Akbe.

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Jul 6, 2013

Unspoken

UnspokenUnspoken by Lisa Jackson
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Very predictable.

Ten years ago Shelby Cole the Judge's daughter fell in love with an older guy Nevada Smith and snuck out of the house to seduce him. The seduction worked and they made passionate love but on her way home she was raped by Ross McCallum. Shelby refused to talk to Nevada and he had no idea what was wrong. When she found out she was pregnant she never told him and the Judge told her the baby was born dead.

Ten years late someone sends her a picture of her daughter very much alive and Shelby is determined to find her, along the way she has reignited the romance with Nevada. The only fly in the ointment is Ross has been released from prison and now Nevada is being framed for a murder he didn't commit.

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Jul 3, 2013

Still Life With Murder

Still Life With Murder (Gilded Age Mystery, #1)Still Life With Murder by P.B. Ryan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the first e-book I have read that I actually liked, cute, humorous and romantic.

Nell is hired as a governess for Gracie (Viola Hewitt's adopted daughter). When Viola learns her son Will (who they believed died in Andersonville along with his brother Robbie) is alive and in jail for murder under an assumed name Viola engages Nell's help to free him.

Will is most uncooperative but the more she learns of him the more she is convinced he is innocent. Even when it comes to light that the man he is accused of killing was the man who killed Robbie in Andersonville. Viola and Nell arrange for Jack Thorpe (an old friend of Will and Robbie's) to represent Will, but it seems that Jack may be more involved in the murder then anyone suspects.

Nell eventually figures out that the mysterious stranger at Flynn's is responsible for the murder and that Will is protecting him, but she assumes that the stranger was Will's brother Harry. When the prosecutors main witness identifies Jack not Harry in the photograph Nell rushes to confront him.

I am looking forward to reading book 2 and am pleased to see that Nell and Will will be teaming up again to solve a mystery.

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