Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Book Review #53: The Wisdom of Father Brown

The Wisdom of Father Brown was the second collection of Father Brown short stories written by G.K. Chesterton. Father Browns friend, Flambeau, criminal turned detective, appears in around half of the stories in this book where Father brown solves mysteries, be it a death or theft, in his own unique way. There are some names and places repeated in these stories.

There is action in these books varying by degrees. Some hold the reader’s interest better than others. These stories are good, but not quite as good as the ones in The Innocence of Father Brown.

If interested in reading this book, you can download it from the following sites in various formats:

Tim's Rating:  ➷➷➹➹
(Four out of six arrows)

Book Review #52: The Man in Lower Ten

The Man in Lower Ten is a mystery novel written by Mary Roberts Rinehart which first in magazines in 1906 in serialized form and was published as a novel in 1909. Lawrence Blakely is in attorney who has to travel by train to Pittsburgh from Washington D.C. to get depositions for a major forgery case. On his return trip, is is assigned berth lower ten in car seven for sleeping. When he goes to his assigned berth, there is a man drunk and passed out in his berth, which he can’t wake. He is given an open berth across from his assigned one. When he wakes in the morning, he discovers his clothes and other possessions have been stolen, including is bag that held the signed depositions. Even worse, the man that was found in his assigned berth is founded murdered and everything is pointing at Blakely as the murderer. Will he be able to to find actual murderer and avoid avoid jail time for himself and also find the depositions?

This is a good story and the author keeps you wondering if the truth will be found. That said, I didn’t like it as well as The Circular Staircase by the same author.

If interested in reading this story, you can download it from the following sites in various formats:

Tim's Rating: ➷➷➹➹
(Four out of six arrows)

Book Review #51: The Circular Staircase

The Circular Staircase is a mystery novel written by Mary Roberts Rinehart and was originally published in 1908. In this book, Rinehart’s first bestseller, Rachel Innes, a well-to-do spinstress rents a home in the country for the summer. Her orphaned niece and nephew, Gertrude and Halsey, who are in their early twenties and are in her custody arrive to the rented house the day after Rachel. On the her first night at the house, Rachel starts hearing noises in the stairway at around 3:00 AM. When she opens her bedroom door to investigate, the noises had stopped and nobody is there. When Gertrude and Halsey arrive the next day, Halsey has a friend along who plans on staying the night. That night there are gun shots in the house, again at 3:00 AM. When they get downstairs, there is a dead body on the floor and Halsey, along with his friend have disappeared. Rachel decides to try solving this crime since it appears the Halsey and Gertrude might be implicated with the murder. Along the way, many more mysterious things happen.

The way this book is written, the author draws the readers in and keeps their attention by everything that goes on without there being too much that would cause readers to get confused. There is plenty action and mysteries in this book and is a very good read.

If interested in reading this book, you can download it in various formats from the following sites:

Tim's Rating:  ➷➷➹➹➹ 
(Five out of six arrows)

Book Review #50: Seven Keys to Baldpate

Seven Keys to Baldpate was the debut novel written by Earl Derr Biggers, first published in 1913. It was later adapted a play and has been adapted to movies several times, as well as radio and television. It takes place the week before Christmas at Baldpate Inn, a summer resort on Baldpate Mountain in upstate New York. Billy Magee, author of several light romance novel goes up to Baldpate Inn during the night, which is closed for the winter, planning to live there in seclusion in order to write the ultimate novel. He has a key to the inn and figures he will be the only one there. Shortly after his arrival and for the next twenty four hours, a cast of characters arrive with their own stories for wanting seclusion, most of them tall tales to cover what they are really after. Their true purposes come to light throughout the story as well as a mystery unfolds.

Biggers went on to write several other novels and screenplays, including six Charlie Chan novels. Many of his works are mystery and detective based, but there is usually a romantic thread included in them. This book was a bestseller for him.

There is plenty of action in this book with humor and a romantic thread tied in to keep most readers interested. It’s hard to figure out the outcome of the mystery in it until the final few chapters of the book. It is an enjoyable read.

If interested in reading this book, you can down load it in various ebook formats from the following sites:

Tim's Rating:  ➷➷➹➹➹
(Five out of six arrows)

If you want to find out more about the rating system this blog uses, please see

New Rating System

***Note:  I started this rating system a few months ago in my other blog, and have decided to implement it in this blog  --Tim

Beginning with the reviews that I write today, I will be implementing a new rating system that I've developed for this blog site. I'm changing from the five star rating system used by Amazon and GoodReads to my new six arrow rating system.

The reason for this change is that I do not give fractions of points in my ratings. Many people will rate books with half stars, such as three and a half stars, because they don't know whether to give it the higher or lower number. The only area I had I had problems with that was between three and four stars. That's why I decided to add an extra number to remedy that.

I had also thought of six such as six bullets in a revolver. The more bullets, means that it was harder to put the book down. But The possible symbols that Blogger has do not include bullets that look like ones for a gun. They do have arrows that look similar to those used in archery, so I decided to replace them for bullets.

The ratings are as follows:

     1 Arrow  -- ➷                     -- DNF (did not finish) or finished, but shouldn't have.  
     2 Arrows -- ➷➷                 -- Wasn't that good.
     3 Arrows -- ➷➷➹             -- Good, but not that memorable
     4 Arrows -- ➷➷➹➹         -- Good, Memorable with some flaws
     5 Arrows -- ➷➷➹➹➹     -- Very good
     6 Arrows -- ➷➷➹➹➹➹ -- Awesome!

I also mad a video explaining my new rating system. It can be viewed here: My New Rating System

Please post your thoughts of this new rating system in the comment box below.

Book Review #49: Inside the Lines

Inside the Lines is a spy thriller with a little romance mixed in written by Earl Derr Biggers and Robert Welles Ritchie and was originally published in 1815. It takes places place in France, Germany and the Mediterranean region during the onset of the first World War. It follows some Americans that are in Europe at the time and are trying to get home and events that are happening around them.

This was the third novel written by Biggers, who went on to write six Charlie Chan novels in the 1920’s and 1930’s. He keeps both the action and the romance to a level where they’re not too distracting from the story line. This is a story that can be enjoyed be men and women of most reading tastes.

If interested in reading this book, you can download it from the following sites in various formats:

Tim's Rating: ****
(Four out of five stars)

Book Review #48: The Innocence of Father Brown

The Innocence of Father Brown is the first compilation of Father Brown short stories written by G. K. Chesterton. Father Brown is a Roman Catholic priest and amateur detective that solves crimes using the knowledge that he gained from criminals’ confessions and his own intuitions. There are twelve short stories in this compilation, many of which include a character named Hercule Flambeau who is a sought after thief throughout Europe in the early stories and through the help of Father Brown, swears off a life of crime and becomes a private detective. The Father Brown BBC television series which also airs on PBS stations in the United States are based from the main character and characters from all of the Father Brown short stories by Chesterton.

The stories in this compilation vary between theft and murder. These take place throughout the United Kingdom and seems that Father Brown is in a different parish in each story. There is humor scattered about in these stories, just like in the television series. Some of these stories are better than others.

If you are interested in reading this book, you can download it for free in various ebook formats from the following sites:

You can also purchase or download the book in various formats from the following sites:

Tim's Rating: ****
(Four out of five stars)