BLOG TOUR – Chickadee Chickadee Bang Bang – SPOTLIGHT

Today I’m happy to bring you a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for J.R. Ripley’s Chickadee Chickadee Bang Bang, which is the 5th book in the Bird Lover’s Mystery series.

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Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Lyrical Underground (September 12, 2017)
Print Length: 247 pages
ASIN: B01MT0HN6F

 

Ruby Lake, North Carolina, might be the perfect place to go birdwatching during autumn, but it’s also a habitat for murder . . .

As Birds & Bees owner Amy Simms guides a halfhearted birding group around Ruby Lake, rumors soon start flying about the annual Fall Festival’s classic car and tractor show. Local eccentric Chick Sherman—boasting the hottest ride in town—has ruffled feathers by mysteriously entering the contest, and curious Amy hatches a plan to sneak a glimpse at the phantom automobile before the big event kicks off . . .

But competition turns deadly when Amy finally spots the sleek ’56 El Morocco—and it’s on top of Chick’s very dead body. With her neighbor and business partner framed as the murderer and priceless Audubon prints suddenly missing from Chick’s home, only Amy can identify the telltale markings of a killer before another hapless victim is plucked from the flock . . .

alternating line of short green 6-hole birdhouse, short blue & red 1-hole birdhouse with a star, and tall 3-hole yellow birdhouse with heart
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JRRipley Kensington author photoAbout The Author

J.R. Ripley is the pen name of Glenn Meganck, the critically acclaimed author of the Tony Kozol mystery series. As a member of the Mystery Writers of America, he has chaired the Edgar committee for Best Original Paperback novel and served on the Best Short Story Committee. As a member of the International Association of Crime Writers, he has served on the Hammett Award committee for Best Novel. When not writing books, Glenn is writing songs, often singing them to the consternation of his audience and neighbors, or involved in one of his many passions, none of which have involved any of the dead bodies that seem to keep cropping up in his mysteries. For more information about him, visit www.jrripley.net

Author Links

Purchase Links: Amazon – B&N  kobo
Other Books in this Series

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Thanks for joining me today for my stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Chickadee Chickadee Bang Bang. If you wish to visit other participants in the tour, please click on the banner below. It will take you to the main tour page where you will find a list of tour participants.

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Wish – REVIEW

5 out of 5 stars

Wish is a stand-alone children’s novel by Barbara O’Connor. It’s meant for the Middle Grades (4th-6th) and is wonderful, poignant, and is just all-around delightful.

Wish by Barbara O'Connor, Author of How to Steal a Dog - tagline: With a little luck you can get what you wish for. - Sunset background, young girl with long brown hair and short-sleeved green shirt kneeling in the grass with a beagle dog - fireflies flying in the background

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Purchase Links: AmazonB&NKobo

Brief Synopsis

Eleven-year-old Charlie Reese has been making the same secret wish every day since fourth grade. She even has a list of all the ways there are to make the wish, such as cutting off the pointed end of a slice of pie and wishing on it as she takes the last bite. But when she is sent to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to live with family she barely knows, it seems unlikely that her wish will ever come true. That is until she meets
Wishbone, a skinny stray dog who captures her heart, and Howard, a neighbor boy who proves surprising in lots of ways. Suddenly Charlie is in serious danger of discovering that what she thought she wanted may not be what she needs at all.

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Review

I’m pretty fond of children’s literature, but I have to say, this is one of the best children’s books I’ve read in a long time!  The story line is so realistic and believable, as are the characters in this book. It’s wonderful.

All her life Charlie’s made a wish every day. She has a whole list of ways that one can make wishes, 11:11 on the clock, first star, crossing the state line (clapping 3 times), bird singing at night, etc. We never know what this wish is until the very end of the book because after all, if you tell someone what your wish is for, it won’t come true. In the end, Charlie gets her wish even though it’s a little different looking than what she thought it would be.

Charlie goes through a lot of character growth throughout the book. When we meet her, her world has just been turned upside down. Her father’s been sent to jail, her mother’s too sick to get out of bed and take care of her, and she’s being sent to live with an aunt and uncle she’s never met before. She’s scared. She’s mad at the world for changing. She’s mad that her sister, Jackie, isn’t coming with her. She’s not really a very nice little girl to be around. She gets into fights at school and at Vacation Bible School, she says mean things in the heat of the moment, etc.. Bertha and Gus, her aunt and uncle seem to take it all in stride. They don’t yell at her, they don’t punish her, they simply love her. Little by little that’s all it takes for her to start changing.

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The supporting characters in this story – Bertha, Gus, Howard, his brothers & parents, and Charlie’s sister, Jackie are just wonderful. They all teach Charlie something about life and love and family. Jackie’s afraid that Charlie will hate her because she can’t take care of her, but Charlie doesn’t hate her. She maybe doesn’t completely understand, but by that point in the book she’s starting to settle in and get comfortable at Bertha & Gus’s place. She’s feeling a little more secure so she takes it in stride.

The settings, the story line, everything about this book is just delightful and fantastic. It’s seriously one of the best children’s Middle Grade books I’ve ever read. I can see I’ll probably be enjoying it more than once!

All in all this is a WONDERFUL book for Middle Grade kids and I HIGHLY recommend it!

** I received an ARC from the publisher through NetGalley. I was not compensated for my review. All opinions and conclusions expressed are my own. **

About the Author

Barbara O'Connor, Author - Older white woman with short grey hair and glasses wearing a white shirt with a red cardigan

Barbara O’Connor’s awards include the Parents Choice Gold and Silver Award, American Library Association Notable Books, IRA Notable Books for a Global Society, School Library Journal Best Books, and Kirkus Best Books. Her books have been nominated for children’s choice awards in 38 states and voted as a state favorite by children in South Carolina, Indiana, Kansas, and South Dakota.

Barbara was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina. She draws on her Southern roots to write award-winning books for children in grades 3 to 6.

She currently lives in Asheville, NC.

Blog Tour: Towhee, Get Your Gun – REVIEW

3.5 out of 5 stars

Photos of author and book cover with text

Today’s post is part of the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for “Towhee, Get Your Gun” by J. R. Ripley.  If you wish to visit other stops along the tour, click on the above image and it will take you to the list of dates and blogs that are participating in the tour.

“Towhee, Get Your Gun” is the 2nd book in The Bird Lover’s Mystery series by J.R. Ripley. I liked the storyline and the setting, but the characters, eh, not so much. You can read my review below the synopsis.

 

towhee-get-your-gun

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Brief Synopsis

When Birds & Bees owner Amy Simms volunteers to act in a local production of Annie, Get Your Gun, she finds herself upstaged by a killer waiting in the wings . . .

Who’s got time for birdwatching? Amy has enough to do running her shop, fighting attempts by the town planning commission to demolish her old Victorian house, and rescuing an injured towhee. Yet somehow she allows herself to get roped into performing in the Ruby Lake, North Carolina, community theater’s new musical after some cast members get injured by mysterious mishaps. The production seems plagued by bad luck, but events turn tragic when a member of the company is found murdered in a locked dressing room.

Trading in her binoculars for a magnifying glass, Amy steps into the role of amateur sleuth and soon discovers the victim ruffled a lot of feathers. With a flock of suspects, Amy will need to beat the bushes before the cagey killer takes flight. After all, the show must go on…

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Review

What do you get when you cross murder with theatrics and bird watching? Mayhem and madness!  This is a very well-written book. As I said above, I really liked the story line and the setting in this book. Ruby Lake sounds like a lovely small town. I wouldn’t mind visiting it or even living there if it wasn’t fictional!

The story line of the actress, the play in town, trying to save the town theater, and Amy still somehow run the birdwatching supply store made for a compelling plot. It was well-written and I had no idea who the villain was until it was revealed, which is always a plus in my opinion. In fact, I was totally off on another tangent and didn’t foresee the villain as the villain at all until it was revealed!

Nevertheless, I did not care for the characters much. I felt like Amy didn’t have much of a backbone and that she took far too many chances. I felt that Kim was far too overbearing and overstepped her boundaries many, many times, without Amy sticking up for herself and saying “no”.

I don’t mind amateur sleuths who pass information on to the police because of things they hear about in their jobs or while out and about in town. I don’t mind amateur sleuths who attempt to talk about the crime with people in the town in hopes of eliciting clues. I do mind amateur sleuths who deliberately take chances that they really don’t need to take. I do mind amateur sleuths who think they’re smarter than the police and seek to upstage the police by solving the crimes themselves. Amy, I feel, falls into this latter category. Some of the chances she takes in this book are ludicrous to me.  I just could not like her and her antics.

However, don’t let this discourage you from reading the book. It is very well-written and has a great plot to it. I didn’t care for it only because of my preferences when it comes to amateur sleuths, not because it was a horrible story. If you don’t mind your characters taking what seem like unnecessary chances, you will probably enjoy the book!

** I received an eBook copy from NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all opinions and conclusions are my own.**

alternating line of short green 6-hole birdhouse, short blue & red 1-hole birdhouse with a star, and tall 3-hole yellow birdhouse with heart
© Graphic Garden

About the Author

J.R. Ripley is the pen name of Glenn Meganck, the critically acclaimed author of the Tony Kozol mystery series. As a member of the Mystery Writers of America, he has chaired the Edgar committee for Best Original Paperback novel and served on the Best Short Story Committee. As a member of the International Association of Crime Writers, he has served on the Hammett Award committee for Best Novel. When not writing books, Glenn is writing songs, often singing them to the consternation of his audience and neighbors, or involved in one of his many passions, none of which have involved any of the dead bodies that seem to keep cropping up in his mysteries. For more information about him, visit www.glennmeganck.com.

 

Cover of book with text about blog tour